The decision today by a Turkish Court to sentence acclaimed pianist Fazil Say to a ten-month suspended jail sentence for ‘insulting religion’ is further evidence of the hostile climate for those attempting to speak out on politically sensitive topics. Freedom House calls on authorities to drop all charges against Say and to cease its efforts to censor citizens.
Freedom House has compiled a series of questions for Senator John Kerry, who has been nominated as the next U.S. secretary of state. Kerry’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled for Thursday, January 24.
In the following letter, Freedom House and other prominent rights groups call on President Barack Obama to express public concern regarding Turkey's increasingly hostile environment for free speech and expression.
A majority of Americans see democracy in the U.S. as weak and getting weaker, according to a national survey released by The Democracy Project, a joint initiative of Freedom House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement.
The victory of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June 2018 elections has cemented the long-term trend of democratic decline and authoritarian consolidation in Turkey. This consolidation has coincided with, and contributed to, a sharp divergence from Turkey’s traditional strategic alignment with the United States. This brief provides an overview of recent developments and looks at how U.S. foreign policy should respond to the “New Turkey.”
Turkey’s government is improperly using its leverage over media to limit public debate about government actions and punish journalists and media owners who dispute government claims, deepening the country’s political and social polarization.
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