Human Rights and Rule of Law in Turkey
Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a briefing on human rights and the rule of law in Turkey.
The few positive steps Turkey made toward democratization last year have been overshadowed by Prime Minister Erdoğan's and his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) growing intolerance of opposition and public protest, and their diminishing respect for the rule of law. A violent crackdown on the peaceful Gezi Park protests, a chain of corruption scandals, legislation granting judiciary oversight to the executive branch, the restrictive internet censorship bill, and the ban on Twitter are all alarming examples of the deterioration of democracy and the rule of law in Turkey. As one consequence of the Turkish government's policy to silence critics, Turkey is currently the world leader on the number of jailed journalists.
The panelists will discuss the rule of law and human rights situation in Turkey in the context of the upcoming local elections, scheduled for March 30, 2014. In addition, the panelists will provide recommendations for U.S. foreign policy in relation to Turkey.
Dr. Howard Eissenstat, Assistant Professor of History, St. Lawrence University
Dr. Aaron Lobel, Founder and President, America Abroad Media
Dr. Kemal Kirişci, Director, Center on the United States and Europe's Turkey Project, Brookings Institute
Dr. James Zanotti, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, Congressional Research Service, Foreign Affairs, Defense & Trade Division