The Turkish government has engaged in a massive suppression of writers and journalists’ freedom of expression.  Almost 150 writers are currently in prison in Turkey and several more have been jailed for expressing criticism of this government restriction.

Under Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, citizens of ratifying States, including Turkey, have “the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

As the Turkish government continues to punish journalists for expressing views not aligning with the government’s preferences, Turkey clearly violates international norms and laws regarding basic human rights.

Elfriede Jelinek, J.M. Coetzee, and other authors promised not to remain silent “while [Turkish writers’] human rights are violated.”  They continued: “The writers of Turkey must be able to speak, to criticize, to protest without fear of reprisal.”

Sources: Associated Press, Nobel Laureates Speak out for Jailed Turkish Writers, ABC News, Jan. 27, 2017, http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/wireStory/nobel-laureates-speak-jailed-turkish-writers-45082268; Associated Press, Nobel Laureates speak out for jailed Turkish writers, The Washington Times, Jan. 27, 2017 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jan/27/nobel-laureates-speak-out-for-jailed-turkish-write/?utm_source=RSS_Feed&utm_medium=RSS