Turkey and Azerbaijan: One Nation, One Crackdown

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Turkey and Azerbaijan: One Nation, One Crackdown
Presenter(s) Arzu Geybullayeva
Organization(s) Meydan TV, Dokuz8Haber
Country(ies) Turkey, Azerbaijan
Social media
2017 theme Regions & Groups

Lets talk about the two countries that rarely make it to international news- Turkey and Azerbaijan, and when they do rarely it is about the good news.

Under the state of emergency announced shortly after the coup by President Erdogan, Turkey witnessed more internet shutdowns and blocked access to websites and online platforms than before. The crackdown against independent voices that began shortly after the failed military coup in July triggered a wave of arrests of prominent journalists, academics, and linguists and many more. As of today, over 144 journalists and writers remain behind bars. There are 115,315 blocked websites according to EngelliWeb. Withheld accounts, surveillance remain issues of major concern.

And then there is the case of Azerbaijan. A country that only gets international coverage when it is host to international mega events, when the country's prominent activists or journalists are arrested on bogus charges or when yet another fraud election takes place. Unlike in Turkey, Azerbaijani government does not block access to internet websites. Instead, it has a direct door to country's main telcos with access to any user it wants to set its eyes on. The government installs video cameras in people's homes, ear drops on phone conversations and keep track of your contacts, phone conversations, and so on. It is notorious for putting people into jail for what they have said online only to sentence them under bogus charges as hooliganism, drug possession and so on.

Shortly put, the two have a lot in common which fits well into the mantra the two countries share: "one nation, two states".

This panel discussion is an opportunity to talk in more detail about what is happening in these two countries where Internet shutdowns and online surveillance are gaining more popularity while activists and remaining voices keep fighting back. We are looking at whats been done in these two different and yet similar countries, how to move forward, and most importantly how can international community help?

Format Panel Discussion
Target Groups Advocacy/Policy Professional, Academia, Front Line Activists
Length 1 Hour
Skill Level Intermediate
Language English

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