Freemuse co-hosts UN Universal Periodic Review session on Turkey


Freemuse and several Turkish partners are hosting a joint event in Istanbul, Turkey, on 27 January 2015 for artists and freedom of expression activists and media. The participants will watch a live web-cast from the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva as it reviews the human rights situation in Turkey.

On 27 January 2015, a Turkish government delegation will present its report on its adherence to the UN’s Universal Declaration on Human Rights, and this will be followed by recommendations made by other UN member states.

The participants in Istanbul – artists and journalists – will jointly watch and discuss this meeting live on the Internet, and they will share comments with the public through social media.

The event takes place from 9:00am to 12:00pm in Geneva and 10:00am to 1:00pm in Istanbul and can be followed via Twitter:

» Hashtag: #UPRTurkey
» Handles: @Free_Muse, @Siyah_Bant, @P24Punto24


Dangers that Turkish artists face
In 2014, Freemuse, Siyah Bant and the Initiative for Freedom of Expression submitted a socalled Universal Periodic Review (UPR) to the United Nations addressing Turkey’s persecution of artists and violations on artistic freedom. In the submission it was noted: “Law suits, arrests, threats and banning orders, these are all dangers that artists in Turkey who touch on sensitive issues face today.”

In the joint submission it was pointed out that “The Turkish Anti Terror Law (TMK) continues to be used against writers and artists to delegitimize their work. This particularly affects artists working in the Kurdish regions, or who are supportive of Kurdish rights. One such example is the band Grup Yorum whose members have over the years suffered repeated arrest and harassment. Officials have exacerbated the situation by publicly equating artists with terrorists.”

» Read the submission to the UN: ‘Universal Periodic Review – Turkey 2014’

» Live sessions from the UN can be watched at

» Read more about the Universal Periodic Review process at

“A Turkey which drifts away from universal values in arts will not do any good either to the people in Turkey or in the world.”
Tamer Levent, head of the Theatre, Opera and Ballet Members Foundation

» The Daily Star / Agence France Presse – 20 January 2015:
Turkey creatives condemn crackdown on artists

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