Yavuz Aydin, Turkish judge purged by President Erdogan now living in exile, addressed the 12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracysee quotes below, followed by the full prepared remarks.

For links to other speakers’ quotes, videos, livestream, and more, click here.

12th Annual Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy, Main Event, Tuesday, February 18, 2020

On the coup events and subsequent purge:

“Even before this coup attempt was done, the High Council met to suspend 3000 judges, and they did it in just two hours – completed the investigation, made the decision.”

“They issued an arrest warrant for 2800 judges and prosecutors, including myself.”

“I went to bed as a judge and woke up as a terrorist.”

On targeting judges and lawyers:

“First you need to attack the lawyers and judges. Then the media, then others. And it happened this way in Turkey.”

“First they came for us. First they came for the judges.”

“They were banned from being employed, so there was no other option but leaving Turkey.”

On opposing Erdogan:

“As people in Turkey, we are much more than Erdogan’s opponents. We have human rights, we have dignity. Turkey is much more than Erodgan. There are millions of people waiting for their voices to be heard.”