#FollowFriday: Stand Still for Turkey

Friday, July 26, 2013

By Alexandra Zakreski

#FollowFriday is an opportunity for CJFE to showcase individuals and groups doing important work in the field of free expression. Please note that certain follow recommendations are not wholesale endorsements of all of an individual’s or organization’s positions.

In recent months, Turkey has been the site of grievous violations of free expression and public assembly rights. Peaceful demonstrators have been severely injured and killed as a result of the Turkish police’s disproportionate use of force. The Turkish Ministry of the Interior has estimated that over 4,900 protesters have been taken into custody, over 400 policemen and 4,000 demonstrators have been wounded, and 11 demonstrators have lost their eyesight. Seven people have also lost their lives since the protests have begun, and CJFE will be participating in “Stand-Still to Support Peaceful Demonstrators in Turkey,” this Sunday, July 28, 2013 to honour those killed and raise awareness of the current rights violations. In light of this upcoming event, we would like to profile organizations that are standing up to defend freedom of assembly and expression in Turkey.

Initiative for Freedom of Expression
The Initiative for Freedom of Expression - Turkey (Antenna) is a Turkish IFEX member organization that has launched the July 28 “Stand-Still” movement, calling on organizations around the world to band together and stand motionless in front of Turkish consulates and embassies in support of peaceful demonstrators and media workers in Turkey.

Follow Şanar Yurdatapan, of Antenna, on Twitter: @sanaryurdatapan

Bianet is another Turkish NGO working to defend freedom of expression and assembly in the country. Bianet has been particularly active in monitoring the Occupy Gezi movement and the assaults, detentions and imprisonments of journalists covering the protests.

Follow Bianet on Twitter: @bianet_eng

Organizations participating in Sunday's protest:

Amnesty International
Amnesty International is a worldwide organization working to defend and promote human rights, among them the right to free expression and freedom of assembly.

Follow Amnesty International on Twitter: @amnesty

With 90 member organizations worldwide, IFEX is the global network defending and promoting free expression.

Follow IFEX on Twitter: @IFEX

PEN Canada
PEN Canada is an organization of writers and supporters who work to protect freedom of speech in Canada and internationally.

Follow PEN Canada on Twitter: @PENCanada

Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ)
CAJ is an organization of Canadian journalists that works to promote journalistic integrity, the public’s right to know, and investigative journalism.

Follow CAJ on Twitter: @CdnAssocJourn

Journalists for Human Rights (JHR)

JHR is an organization that seeks to “make everyone in the world fully aware of their rights” through media development programs and education programs, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Follow JHR on Twitter: @jhrnews

Canadian Media Guild (CMG)

CMG is a union of Canadian media workers that seeks to preserve the rights of journalists as well as promote high quality investigative journalism.

Follow Carmel Smyth, current CMG President, on Twitter: @CarmelCMGpres