Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Freedom of Thought and Speech in Turkey. Right Now

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A college student in jail for an internship inquiry

Read about Şeyma Özcan, a second year Boğaziçi University student majoring in History, who is in jail because of a phone call she made to inquire about an internship at a newspaper on Hürriyet Daily News.

"Turkey takes Lead in Violations of Freedom of Expression"

According to the European Court of Human Rights [ECHR] Judge Işıl Karakaş, arrests in Turkey are the basis and release the exception, and Turkey is "the country in the worst situation considering press freedom and freedom of expression" and also "the country with the most convictions ruled by the ECHR in this area." According to this, "the number of applications filed to the ECHR from Turkey in 2011 has increased incredibly. This year, about 9,000 applications were made compared with less than 6,500 last year. This shows that some things are not going right in Turkey despite a set of regulations, reforms or developments expected for the judiciary."

Read more about Işıl Karakaş, judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) visit Bianet.

Anti-Terrorism Law Obstructs Freedom of Expression

The opening session of the "Freedom Express - Özgürlük Ekspresi," was held on November 16th in Istanbul; this initiative aims at creating a forum of free thought for the discussion of different ideas without polarization. The first guests of this event hosted by journalist Banu Güven were Nadire Mater, journalist and photographer Wilco van Herpen and journalist Faruk Mercan. Güven emphasized that "[p]ress Freedom occupies a large part within freedom of expression" and "claimed that this situation had an impact on the journalists' freedom to make news as well as on the readers' freedom to information."The discussants agreed that what obstructed the freedom of expression used to be Article 301, denigrating Turkishness, and that now, it the Anti-Terrorism Law has replaced Article 301 in obstructing free expression.

To read these comments by three journalists working in Turkey, visit Bianet.

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