Convenors: Free Speech Debate, Timothy Garton Ash; SEESOX, Othon Anastasakis, Mehmet Karli
Chair: Dr. Mehmet Karli, SEESOX
Rıza Türmen, Former ECHR judge and former MP
Kemal Göktaş, Reporter from Cumhuriyet newspaper, Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute
Funda Üstek-Spilda, Goldsmiths, University of London
The seminar entitled “The Erosion of Free Speech in Turkey: Why were Key Institutions Defeated?” was held at the European Studies Centre, St Antony’s College on 28 February 2018. The seminar was co-organized by SEESOX and the Free Speech Debate, headed by Professor Timothy Garton Ash. Rıza Türmen, a former ECHR judge and former Turkish MP from the main opposition party CHP, Kemal Göktaş, reporter from Cumhuriyet newspaper and a visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute, and Dr. Funda Üstek-Spilda from Goldsmiths, University of London were the speakers in the panel which was chaired by Dr. Mehmet Karli of SEESOX.
In line with the guiding question of the seminar, each speaker focused on the failure of key institutions to check and balance the authoritarian slide in Turkey. Mr. Türmen focused on the judiciary and parliament, Mr. Göktaş on the press, and Dr. Ustek-Spilda on academia.