A Taste of Life under President Erdogan
What changes may we expect in the political climate in Turkey, and how will they affect human rights?
İdil Eser, İlker Gökhan Şen (University of Zurich) and Işıl Kurnaz (Bilkent University) in conversation with Iver Ørstavik (The Rafto Foundation for Human Rights).
In this seminar Idil Eser, Isil Kurnaz and Ilker Gökhan Sen will paint a broad picture of the current human rights violations in Turkey under president Erdogan’s rule. With a focus on freedom of speech and organizations they will look at the imprisonment and disappearances of large numbers of persons perceived to be opponents of the ruling party.
The repression of prominent oppositional voices includes the human rights group Saturday Mothers/People, publisher and human rights defender Osman Kavala and CHP politician Canan Kaftancıoğlu. The pro-Kursidh HDP party, the third largest party in Turkey’s parliament, is currently under increasingly political and legal pressure. A Turkish prosecutor has recently asked the country’s top court to ban the party.
The panel will also look at some important cases of corruption, and the decision to withdraw Turkey from the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.
The conversation will be moderated by Iver Ørstavik from the Rafto Foundation for Human Rights.
All attendees are welcome to ask questions in the Q&A session.
İdil Eser: Is the former Director of Amnesty International Turkey. While in this position she was arrested as one of the “Istanbul 10” human rights defenders in 2017 and charged with a terrorist organization. In 2020 she was convicted in absentia to two years in prison. Her case is pending at the Court of Cassation. After 113 days of detention she has since worked to protect prisoners’ human rights and the human rights of women. She worked as a Guest Researcher at Norwegian Center for Human Rights in Oslo until March of 2020.
İlker Gökhan Şen: Holds a PhD in law from the University of Zurich, research at University of Geneva, University of Humboldt Berlin-Germany. Main interests are Democracy, Constitutional Law, Human Rights and Democracy Education, Turkish law and politics. Author of Sovereignty Referendums in International and Constitutional Law and several other books. Currently he is a Visiting Researcher at the Center for Law and Social Tranformation, CMI/University of Bergen
Işıl Kurnaz: Is a Ph.D. candidate in Public Law at Bilkent University. She does research on democracy, extraordinary procedures, constitutional law, and international human rights law.
Iver Ørstavik: Is a senior advisor at the Rafto Foundation where he works with laureates on a range of subject ranging from Dalit discrimination, via migrants and LGBTIQ rights, to rule of law.