Political Prisoners in Turkey: Al-Monitor

Since a 2016 coup attempt, the Erdogan regime in Turkey has been sensitive about any opposition, viewing valid criticism as a challenge to its policies and control. “Sixteen people are facing life imprisonment without parole for allegedly organizing and financing the 2013 Istanbul Gezi Park protests,” reports Diego Cupolo for Al-Monitor. “A 657-page indictment issued on Feb. 20 charged the defendants with orchestrating a plot to overthrow the Turkish government through the Gezi protests, which spread across the nation after peaceful demonstrators tried to preserve a green space in central Istanbul in 2013.” The defendants deny the allegations, and human rights groups argue the charges lack evidence. Among the defendants is Ali Hakan Altinay, a 2009 Yale Greenberg World Fellow who has written for YaleGlobal Online. An attorney representing another defendant points out that officials try to shift blame for Turkey’s economic problems to civil society leaders – blaming foreign influences and relying on scapegoating, nationalism and conspiracy theories. The trial represents a crackdown on individuals and groups that promote civil liberties. – YaleGlobal

Political Prisoners in Turkey: Al-Monitor

A trial for Gezi Park detainees in Turkey – including promoter of global civics and YaleGlobal writer Hakan Altinay – begins June 24
Diego Cupolo
Friday, June 21, 2019

Read the article from Al-Monitor.

Read about the trial from Human Rights Watch.

Read a detailed report from Human Rights Watch on the baseless charges.

Read about the work of Hakan Altinay as the director of the European School of Politics and the president of the Global Civics Academy.

Read Altinay’s YaleGlobal articles on climate change and Erdogan’s commanding victory in the 2014 Turkish election.

Read an essay about the state of global governance by Altinay.

Read a review of Global Civics: Responsibilities and Rights In an Interdependent World:

Altinay’s call for lessons in global civics might unnerve corporate and government leaders who evade responsibility for cross-border crises – proliferation of nuclear weapons, emissions that change the climate, genocide and economic disparities. The goal of civics is to inspire students to become active, responsible citizens. The logical step after global civics classes would be greater attention on global governance.

“Too often global issues are political footballs, difficult to grapple, and they’re kicked to the bottom of national agendas. National leaders gripe about global criticism or unfairness, while eluding dialogue and compromises. All but the most adept politicians underestimate citizens’ willingness to explore new topics and form independent opinions in agreement with strangers on distant continents. But concerted education programs, moral outrage at evil and public embrace of complex issues have upended traditions. Slavery, suppression of women’s rights and colonialism are examples. The internet, social media and the public’s willingness to engage with strangers on specific causes allows the reports and moral outrage to spread more quicky.

“….civics is a balancing act of rights and responsibilities. All earthlings should expect best practices and intentions from one another.”

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