Freedom of expressionis an equal right of each individual. It is an essential prerequisite for the progress of democratic societies and the personal development of individuals.There are legal framework set in place to protect this right both on the international and local levels. However, throughout history, those who are in power have tried to limit freedom of expressionthinking that critical ideas can harm their privileges and endanger their rule. For this reason, they chose to criminalize and punish freedom of expressionby using censorship laws and policies. They sometimes utilized the legal systen which they put under pressure, and other times they didn’t shy away from using violence. Particularly in places where despotism ruled supreme, written and mass media, two powerful mediums of freedom of expression, were systematically taken under control and were made to voice the state ideology.
The existence of academia is also dependent on freedom of expression. Therefore it is noteworthy that the number of journalists and academics who are pressurised, fired from their jobs, subjected to violence and even killed is considerable in countries where freedom of expressionis breached.
The country of Turkey has been moving away from democracy at incredible speed every day during Erdogan’s presidency, especially after the 15 July coup attempt, whose perpetrators have still not been ascertained. Human rights breaches increased and laws were consciously breached, or suspended, and a despotic rule came to the surface. Every passing day, intellectuals, journalists, writers, academics, members of NGOS and human rights defenders, social media users, all of whom are accused of being critical of the government, are blamed to be belonging to a terrorist organization and face trial for this reason.IJA_Ifade-ozgurlugu-RAPOR_EN