Turkey: Freedoms Under Fire
In cooperation with the Faculty of Humanities
Over the past few years, various freedoms have been under fire in Turkey. This public event will reflect on the recent developments in the last couple of years that led to limitations on any critical expressions in Turkey.
The Turkish government launched a widespread crackdown on its critics, ranging from opposition party members to journalists, academics, and intellectuals. The two-year state of emergency between 2016-2018 led to thousands of human rights violations, devastating the lives of ordinary citizens.
The government also rejects criticism of its human rights violations and portrays them as legitimate or necessary. More than 2000 signatories of the Academics for Peace petition in 2016 stand accused of spreading "terrorist propaganda" because they supported peace in the Kurdish regions of Turkey. Many have been sentenced to jail, lost their academic positions, or had their passports revoked. Several members of parliament of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) are under attack and serving jail terms. Since the failed coup attempt in July 2016, many universities were closed or stripped of their staff. Hundreds of thousands of teachers, policemen, doctors, accountants, judges, and other government workers have been detained or sacked on suspicion of having ties to the coup. How do these recent political developments affect the everyday lives of citizens? How does extreme politicization and restriction of free speech in Turkey shape the way politicians, intellectuals, and journalists express their views?
About the speakers
Due to unexpected obligations Mr Özsoy had to cancel his participation to our event, but we are fortunate enough to have Mr Özsoy replaced by Ertuğrul Kürkçü. Ertugrul Kurkcu is honorary chair of the HDP party, former coordinator and columnist for the online news outlet BIANET and longtime activist.
Nazan Üstündağ is a sociologist, assistant professor at Boğaziçi University and member of Women for Peace and Academics for Peace in Turkey, currently in exile. Her research interests are theories of modernity, feminist theory, narrative methods and ethnography of the state.
Enno Maessen (moderator) of the Department of European Studies, University of Amsterdam.
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