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PEN’S REPORT ON FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN TURKEY UNDER EMERGENCY STATE

International human rights watchdogs publish reports on violations of freedom of thought and expression in Turkey. Following the United Nation’s Human Rights’ report, the PEN International published a report. Professor Yaman Akdeniz from İstanbul Bilgi University Faculty of Law and Assistant Professor Kerem Altıparmak from Ankara University Faculty of Law prepared a report for PEN International’s branch in Britain. The report is titled ‘Turkey: Freedom of Expression in Jeopardy. Violations of the rights of authors, publishers and academics under the State of Emergency’. 78 paged report examines the impact of the Turkish government’s response to the failed coup on the publishing community and academia. The report claims that Emergency Decrees are used as an instrument for government’s policy of silencing the opponents. According to the report, the policy of silencing the opponents causes a crisis in the judiciary and freedom of expression.

The report states that ‘For the past twenty years, the main issue restricting public debate in terms of Turkish laws has been the prosecution and imprisonment of journalists, writers and intellectuals on the grounds that they contribute to violence and terrorism.’ It is stated that freedom of expression which was already problematic before the coup attempt deteriorated under the emergency state and added that “Under the State of Emergency, 200 media outlets and publishing organisations have been shut down.”.

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