With democracy teetering on the edge and the country accelerating towards dictatorship under the autocratic rule of President Recep Tayip Erdogan, last Saturday’s 3rd annual Solidarity with the People of Turkey(SPOT) conference in London brought together some 200 people. The purpose was to hear eye witness reports from Turkey and the Kurdish community and to plan future solidarity action aimed at calling to account the Turkish government and to challenge the complicity of European governments in their support for the Erdogan regime.
In an act of solidarity the NUJ has decided to adopt jailed journalist Ayşe Düzkan. Ayşe, is a member of the board of Disk-Is, one of the NUJ’s sister unions in Turkey and has been defending herself for the last 18 months at various court hearings. Finally she was indicted earlier this month and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The Istanbul court jailed her and other colleagues on charges of “propagandising for a terrorist organisation”.
It’s some 6 weeks since the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist in what, on the basis of the evidence so far, was a state sponsored killing, which took place in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. To date the Saudi ruling elite, in the person of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto head of state, claim to know nothing of the atrocity, but have arrested 18 people who are alleged to have been involved in the operation.