Turkey | Page 21 | Freedom House

Turkey

75 million people
10,410 USD GNI (PPP)
Internet:
Not Free
Press:
Not Free
Not Free

News & Updates

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.

Distinguished Fellow for Democracy Studies
Research Director, Europe & Eurasia

Ten years ago, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) scored an overwhelming victory in elections for the Turkish parliament. Its triumph represented much more than a normal rotation of power between one traditional party and another. As a party—or, perhaps more accurately, a movement—with roots in moderate Islamism, the AKP stood poles apart from the secularist parties that had dominated Turkish politics for much of the previous century.

The world was outraged when a 14-year-old girl in Pakistan was shot in the head last week simply for being an ardent advocate for the right of girls to an education. Unfortunately, Malala's case is not an isolated one. In most parts of the world today, individuals and organizations working to advance social, political, and environmental justice face imminent danger as a result of their work. In the past two months alone, a 70-year-old activist in Cambodia was sentenced to 20 years in prison because he challenged the government's policy of confiscating local land for powerful corporate interests; in southern India, police used live ammunition on villagers protesting against a proposed nuclear power plant; a human rights lawyer opposing the creation of special economic development zones was shot dead in Honduras; and in the United Arab Emirates, an outspoken critic of inhumane treatment of political prisoners was assaulted in the street twice and faced government surveillance.

The number of journalists imprisoned in Turkey has nearly doubled, according to a new study published by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which noted that 95 journalists are in Turkish prisons today, up from 57 in 2011.  Freedom House welcomes the report and  joins the OSCE in calling on Turkey to reform its media laws, which include vague anti-terrorism provisions that have been used for years to imprison journalists for allegedly disseminating statements and propaganda from terrorist organizations.

Pages

Experts

Director for Special Research

Nate Schenkkan is the Project Director for Nations in Transit, Freedom House’s annual survey of democratic governance from Central Europe to Eurasia. 

Issues: 
Regions: 

Signature Reports

Special Reports

Dealing with the New Turkey: Recommendations for US Policy after the Elections

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.”

The Struggle for Turkey's Internet

Turkey is a battleground state for Internet regulation, according to a Freedom House report released in advance of the Internet Governance Forum.

Democracy in Crisis: Corruption, Media, and Power in 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.

Programs

No programs have been associated with this content.