The Turkish authorities’ relentless crackdown on freedom of expression and other human rights in Turkey has accelerated since the failed coup attempt of July 2016. Independent mainstream media have been all but silenced, with some 180 media outlets closed down. 5,000 academics have been dismissed.
Turkey is now the world’s largest prison for journalists and dissenting voices. More than 40,000 people are languishing behind bars following the failed coup, including at least 170 journalists. The trials of journalists detained since the coup are ongoing whilst the trials against 2,212 academics for signing a peace petition, 120 of which will begin in December 2017. Turkey’s judicial system has come under extraordinary attack since the failed coup. What judicial independence existed has been eviscerated as over 4,000 judges and prosecutors have been dismissed and replaced with political appointees. With no expectation for fair trials at the domestic level, the European Court of Human Rights has become the last hope for justice.
The event brings together lawyers, journalists and academic experts to explore the current situation of press and academic freedom in Turkey, and the role of various actors, including the international community, in restoring media freedom.
Sarah Clarke, International Policy and Advocacy Manager, PEN International
Tobias Garnett, Lawyer for Ahmet and Mehmet Altan and P24, Harvard University
Çağhan Kızıl, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Research Institute on Turkey
Richard Winfield, International Senior Lawyers Project
Agnes Callamard, Director, Columbia Global Freedom of Expression (moderator)