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Can Dundar, leading Turkish journalist who was imprisoned & targeted for assassination
Feb. 21, 2017

On authoritarianism in Turkey:

  • “We will talk about the return of authoritarianism. It cannot return to our land because it has never left the country. Our democracy is 66 years old and has had 4 military interventions during this time. And now we are having a civil intervention.”
  • “If the coup had succeeded, we would have a military government right now. But instead we have a police state. The coup was a gift of God for Erdogan. . . Under these circumstances, he [Erdogan] decided to change the parliamentary regime for a one man system. If he wins, he will have power to get rid of parliament, declare a state of emergency, control the judiciary . . .”
  • “And some of people who dare to say no to dictatorship are in jail now, including parliamentarians from the third largest political party, and 150 journalists. . . We are still fighting and now I am in exile in Germany . . .”
At UN Opening Event, Feb. 20, 2017:
  • “I am coming from the world’s biggest jail for journalists. At the moment, we have 150 journalists in jails of Turkey. Among them, my colleagues from my paper . . . the oldest and most prestigious paper in Turkey. editors-in-chief, writers, reporters, lawyers of the paper. Even the tea maker who refused to give tea to the president.”
  • “Using this military intervention attempt as an excuse for his oppression, Erdogan built up his aggressiveness and oppression and detained more than 15,000 people and 50,000 were fired from their jobs . . . This has been the biggest crackdown in our history. And even the third biggest party’s presidents and 11 parliamentarians are in jail at the moment.”
  • “Under these circumstances . . .Turkey is having a referendum. It will be on the 16th of April and Turkish people will decide between democracy and dictatorship. And according to the opinion polls it’s 50/50 now.”
  • “I am just asking the United Nations to adopt a resolution about Turkey and establish a commission of inquiry about the human rights abuses in Turkey.”
  • “We can bring them down if we come together in solidarity.”