This post was originally prepared for the Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) in the context of the IAI-Istanbul Policy Center-Mercator Foundation project “Turkey, Europe and the World” and was first published here.
Yet another mass protest in Turkey. Yet another drastic government response. The depressing reaction of the Turkish authorities to the Taksim and Gezi park protests bears strong authoritarian hallmarks and reflects the Turkish government’s fear of open displays of “criticism” and, more generally, any form of dissent. This is not to imply that Turkey was ever a vigorous promoter of human rights, but certainly there were hopeful signs of progress over the past decades, including in realm of freedom of expression. Despite these positive signs, most commentators consider Turkish laws highly restrictive with regards to free speech and expression. The situation for journalists is also considered abysmal. Since 1992, eighteen journalists have been murdered in Turkey according to data collected by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
You can find the full post here.