Turkey is facing crucial elections on 14 May that can bring change – or more repression. Turkey’s elections are far from being free or fair despite the opposition’s chance to win. Ahead of the elections, the government has already deployed several measures to secure its advantage, including changes to electoral laws, persecution of the opposition, the criminalisation of speech, and a surge of public spending to win over voters.
Join Freedom House and ARTICLE 19 on Tuesday, 9 May for a Twitter space talk ahead of the crucial vote that could determine Turkey’s democratic future.
The government has stepped up its efforts to intensify the ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression in the run up to the elections. In recent years, Turkey’s highly criticised internet legislation has become the authorities’ favourite tool to exert further control over online speech and propel censorship. In addition, the amendments to the internet legislation, dubbed the ‘censorship law’, introduced a criminal penalty for ‘spreading false information’ and imposed new sanctions on social media platforms, which may have serious consequences on the elections, including the throttling of platforms, especially during the counting of the vote and in the aftermath. This rapidly escalating online censorship comes amidst a spate of attacks against independent journalists, activists and opposition parties.
This escalating dismantling of civil society puts the transparency and fairness of the elections at serious risk. Our experts will discuss the government policies undermining electoral integrity, the state of human rights in Turkey in the lead up to these crucial elections, consider rising concerns about election security and the security of voters, and explore essential components for a recipe for Turkey to retract from the path towards authoritarianism.
Where: Twiter space at @freedomhouse – set a reminder and join us here
Date: Tuesday, 9 May
Time: 10.00-11.00 ET (17:00-18.00 in Turkey)
- Nate Schenkkan, Senior Director of Research for Freedom House
- Emma Sinclair-Webb, Europe and Central Asia Associate Director and Turkey Director for Human Rights Watch
- Kerem Altıparmak, Co-founder of Freedom of Expression Association in Turkey, IFOD
- Suay Boulougouris, Europe and Central Asia Programme Officer for ARTICLE 19