Montreal, November 4, 2015 – As Turkey moves beyond its second parliamentary election this year, the International Press Institute (IPI) and Concordia University's Thinking Out Loud series will host a discussion on media freedom and democracy in Turkey. It will bring together veteran Turkish journalist and analyst Amberin Zaman and Kyle Matthews of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia. Award winning Globe and Mail journalist Susan Sachs will moderate the discussion.
The free public event, “Threats, Risks, Freedoms: A Conversation About Journalism and Human Rights”, will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, November 16, 2015, at Concordia University’s D.B. Clarke Theatre (1455 De Maisonneuve Bld. West, Montreal, Quebec). Tickets are available online at Eventbrite.
The discussion comes during turbulent times in Turkey – particularly in the period between the June 7 parliamentary elections, which failed to lead to the formation of a government, and last Sunday’s repeat of the polls. Days before the latest election, authorities seized an opposition media group and ordered police to shut down two television stations. Preceding weeks saw journalists who criticised the government targeted under anti-terror and criminal insult laws, fired or even physically attacked.
Examining the situation in light of election results, Zaman, Matthews and Sachs will discuss the types of pressure journalists in Turkey face, and how that has impacted the ability of traditional and new media journalists to work, as well as the broader democratic exchange of ideas in the country. They will also analyse the implications for Canada and Canadian journalists.
Note that the event will also be live-streamed.
About the speakers
Amberin Zaman has covered Turkey for The Economist for 17 years and was a regular contributor to The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times and The Daily Telegraph. In August 2014, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's then-prime minister and now president, singled her out for remarks she made on a television programme, calling her a "shameless militant disguised under the name of a journalist".
She is currently a columnist for one of Turkey’s leading digital news platforms, Diken, and for Al-Monitor. Her main focus is the Kurds, the Syrian conflict and Turkish-Armenian reconciliation. Follow her on Twitter @amberinzaman.
Kyle Matthews is the senior deputy director of the Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University and a fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute. His work focuses on human rights, international security, the Responsibility to Protect, global threats, and social media and technology. At Concordia, he founded the Digital Mass Atrocity Prevention Lab and the Raoul Wallenberg Legacy of Leadership project. Follow him on Twitter at @kylecmatthews.
Susan Sachs is the foreign editor of The Globe and Mail. Before joining the Globe as its Kabul correspondent, she was posted in Istanbul, Baghdad and Cairo by The New York Times, and in Cairo and Moscow by Newsday. Her reporting has been honoured with prizes from, among others, the Overseas Press Club and Investigative Reporters and Editors in the United States, and she was awarded a Bagehot Fellowship and American Political Science Association. She has also taught global reporting and immigration reporting at the graduate school of journalism of the Institut d'études politiques (Sciences Po). Follow her on Twitter at @susansachs.