The 11th ‘Istanbul Gathering for Freedom of Expression’ has been held for the first time on a completely online environment since its start in 1997.
In the sessions broadcasted on YouTube for two days, experiences on freedom of expression within the past two years were shared by witnesses from both Turkey and abroad. Turkish and international participants searched an answer to the question, “Where are we headed?” with their video messages.
In the 11th Gathering, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression David Kaye, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland, Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe (OSCE) Media Freedom Representative Harlem Desir, Knut Fleckenstein from European Parliament Socialists and Democrats Group, Prof. Noam Chomsky and other representatives from HRW, IFEX, FIDH, Freedom House, INDEX on Censorship, Article 19, PEN, IPA, IPI, EFJ, CPJ, Fritt-Ord Foundation, RSF and others working on freedom of expression have shared their opinions. The sessions were broadcasted live on Artı TV and IFEX as well.
You may find the first day’s sessions on https://goo.gl/wjeSo1 ,
The second day’s sessions on https://goo.gl/ddEtQ1.
May 26 2018 Saturday https://www.youtube.com/c/DusunThink 14:00 – 14:10 Prologue 14:10 – 14:30 International Organizations David Kaye (UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion &…
May 26 2018 Saturday
14:00 – 14:10 Prologue
14:10 – 14:30 International Organizations
David Kaye (UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion & Expression)
Thorbjørn Jagland (Council of Europe Secretary General)
Harlem Desir (OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media)
Knut Fleckenstein (Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament)
14:30 – 16:00 International NGOs
Ken Roth (HRW / Human Rights Watch -Executive Director)
Dimitris Christopoulos (FIDH/ FIDH Worldwide Movement for Human Rights – President)
Annie Game (IFEX / International Freedom of Expression Exchange- Executive Director)
Thomas Hughes (Article 19 – Executive Director)
Jodie Ginsberg (INDEX on Censorship – Chief Director)
Nate Schenkkan (Freedom House – Turkey expert)
Joanne Leedom Ackerman (PEN International – Vice President)
Eugene Schoulgin (PEN International – Vice President)
Michiel Kolman (IPA / International Publishers Association – President)
Kristenn Einarsson (IPA / International Publishers Association – Freedom to Publish Committee)
Barbara Trionfi (IPI / International Press Institute – Executive Director)
Ricardo Gutiérrez (EFJ / European Federation of Journalists – Secretary General)
Joel Campagna (CPJ / Committee to Protect Journalists – Executive Director)
Knut Olav Amas (Fritt-Ord Foundation – Norway – Executive Director)
Christophe Deloire (RSF / Reporters Sans Frontiere – General Director)
William Nygaard (Norwegian PEN / Chairman)
Prof. Noam Chomsky
16:00 – … Bridges from the Past (Ayşe Hür- Historian)
The Resistable Rise of Adolf Hitler (Prof .Thomas Kühne – Historian)
The Red Scare in USA – Mc Carthy Era (Prof. Kristen Williams – Political Scientist)
May 27, 2018 Sunday
14:00 – 16:00 QUO VADIS? Where is Turkey Going to? (Witnesses, testimonies)
Introduction: Turkey 2018
Curfews and afterwards (Witness: Nurcan Baysal)
Oppression on HDP (Witness: Ayhan Bilgen)
Oppression on the Media (Witnesses: Aydın Engin, Celal Başlangıç, Can Dündar, Yaman Akdeniz, Murat Çelikkan)
Being Anti-War (Witnesses: Esra Mungan, Gençay Gürsoy, Baskın Oran)
State of Emergency (Witnesses: Nuriye Gülmen, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Günal Kurşun)
Violating Laws (Witnesses: İbrahim Kaboğlu, Can Dündar)
Assembly and Demonstrate (Witnesses: Özlem Dalkıran, Günal Kurşun)
Impunity (Witnesses: Ahmet Özmen, Eren Keskin)
Non-Closed Cases: Hrant Dink, Pınar Selek, Tahir Elçi (Witnesses: Aydın Engin, Karin Karakaşlı, Ahmet Özmen)
16:00 – 16:30 NGOs speaking
İHD – Human Right Asasociation (Öztürk Türkdoğan – President )
İHOP – Human Rights Joint Platform (Feray Salman – Coordinator)
İHGD – Human Rights Agenda Association (Günal Kurşun – Ex-President
TTB – Turkish Physicians Union (Prof. Gençay Gürsoy – Ex-President)
Truth, Justice and Memory Center (Murat Çelikkan – Director)
Alevi Philosophy Center (Doğan Bermek – President)
Anticapitalist Muslims (Prof. İhsan Eiiaçık – President)
Agenda Children Association (Banned, Ezgi Koman)
KAOS-GL – LGBTI Oragnization (Murat Köylü)
Bianet (Erol Önderoğlu)
16:30 – 16.45 Hopes? Hopes of the participants for the future
Short messages from 14 participants
16:45 – … Epilogue
It is only through the guaranteeing of fundamental freedoms that national security efforts will actually result in real security for all. Likewise, in contexts and situations that are safe and secure our fundamental freedoms can thrive and aid in the further development of our democracies.
It is for this reason that I continue to call on the authorities of Turkey to guarantee respect for the freedom of all to express, to debate and to share diverse, pluralistic views. Freedom of expression must be extended to opinions that we disagree with, to views that may even shock, offend or disturb us.
With all of the above in mind, I will continue my work, co-operation with, and support for all of you to strengthen freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey.
Dear organisers and participants of the 11th gathering in Istanbul for freedom of expression,
I should like to apologise for not being able to attend your event, devoted to the freedom of expression. This cornerstone of democratic checks and balances, protected by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, is today challenged and undermined from multiple directions. The number of violations reported to the Council of Europe’s Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists has not ceased to grow. Physical attacks on journalists have increased. Last year, five journalists were killed in the Council of Europe region and well over one hundred were reported to be deprived of their liberty, a vast majority of them in Turkey. My latest report on the state of democracy, human rights and the rule of law also found that the arbitrary shutdown of media organisations, the subjective blocking of online content and problems related to the lack of transparency of media ownership are also on the increase.
I am particularly concerned with regard to the situation in Turkey and notably with the fact that so many journalists, members of parliament, Mayors and human rights defenders are deprived of their liberty. In July 2016, the Council of Europe was swift to condemn the attempted coup and I made it clear that Turkey could count on our solidarity and support. It was right – and remains right – that the Turkish authorities should investigate the crimes that were committed and prosecute those who are responsible. This is clear. But any action and measures must be in compliance with the European convention on human rights and within the limits of derogations stipulated therein. As stated by the Strasbourg Court, freedom of expression is essential for journalists to disseminate facts, stimulate debate and inform the public, even where it could offend, shock or disturb. This is also the essence of a large number of judgments by our Court concerning Turkey over the past ten years. In this respect, and others, the actions undertaken by the Turkish authorities must be compatible with their legal obligations under the terms of the European Convention on Human Rights. The Convention contains clear standards on fundamental rights. These include: the existence of sufficient grounds for detention, the presumption of innocence, access to legal representation, access to a court, equality of arms, and the right to a fair trial within a reasonable time frame. It is of utmost importance that the cases of all the people affected by the state of emergency measures in Turkey are dealt in compliance with these standards. This is an imperative condition for a country, party to the European convention on human rights and a member of the Council of Europe. I shall continue to insist on this in all my interactions with the Turkish authorities.
I wish you a very successful event.