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15.03.2018

Moving opening of exhibition on persecuted journalists in Turkey

By Sophie Albers Ben Chamo

On Wednesday, 14 March, as part of the Leipzig Bookfair the ECPMF, MEP Rebecca Harms and the daily Leipziger Volkszeitung joined forces to shed light on the situation of media freedom in Turkey.

Expression Interrupted 10 Turkish journalist Yavuz Baydar at the opening of EXPRESSION INTERRUPTED! in Leipzig (photo: Sophie ABC/ ECPMF)

"This is the zeitgeist now - the corrosion of values and human rights... and Turkey is a leading force", Turkish journalist Yavuz Baydar says bleakly at the opening of the exhibition "Expression Interrupted!” by ECPMF, MEP of the Green Party Rebecca Harms and the daily  Leipziger Volkszeitung.

From Wednesday, 14th March 2018, until the end of the month, people in Leipzig can visit this impressive visual reminder of the situation of media freedom in Turkey at the LVZ Foyer. 21 charts show the individual stories of persecuted journalists. It's a story of arbitrariness, some of them are in jail with more than one life sentence, others without indictment, some are free but cannot leave the country because they are on pending trial, and others are expecting to be arrested any day soon.

"Two years ago, when we showed this exhibition for the first time in Brussels, there were 155 journalists in jail", says curator Andrew Finkel. "Also, today, there are 155 journalists in jail, but the people change, some are released, some newly detained." Turkey is said to be the biggest journalist jail in the world, ECPMF's managing director Lutz Kinkel reminds the audience. "Things are bad in Turkey", he says. And MEP Rebecca Harms adds, that even though some journalists have been released, "we should not fool ourselves to believe that the situation is getting back to normal". In his emotional opening words, the exhibition's curator Andrew Finkel says, "those people [who are persecuted] are a danger only to those who want to live in a country where everyone thinks the same". 

ECPMF's Kinkel pledges his listeners not to give into a feeling of helplessness, despite the frustrating outlook, "solidarity is the lifeblood for those in jail, who fear to have been buried alive inside these grey walls," he says. And Andrew Finkel closes with the words: "Look at the faces of those people, your interest in them means something, believe me."

The exhibition "Expression interrupted!" is open till 31 March 2018, at the LVZ Foyer, Peterssteinweg 19, Monday to Friday 8 to 18.

 

Please find here more pictures and  a video (in Turkish)

Expression Interrupted 12 ECPMF's managing director Dr. Lutz Kinkel, MEP Rebecca Harms, journalist Yavuz Baydar and curator Andrew Finkel (left to right/ photo: Sophie ABC/ECPMF)
Expression Interrupted 9 "Expression Interrupted!" charts at the LVZ foyer in Leipzig (photo: Sophie ABC/ECPMF)
Expression Interrupted 7 Rebecca Harms speaking at the vernissage (photo: Sophie ABC/ECPMF)
Expression Interrupted 6 ECPMF's managing director Dr. Lutz Kinkel speaking at the vernissage "Expression Interrupted!" (photo: Nora Wehofsits/ECPMF)
Expression Interrupted 8 "Expression Interrupted!" charts at the LVZ foyer in Leipzig (photo: Sophie ABC/ECPMF)
Expression Interrupted 11 Curator Andrew Finkel speaking at the vernissage "Expression Interrupted!" (photo: Nora Wehofsits/ECPMF)
Expression Interrupted 4 "Expression Interrupted!" charts at the LVZ foyer in Leipzig (photo: Sophie ABC/ECPMF)
Expression Interrupted 1 "Expression Interrupted!" in Leipzig till end of March at the LVZ-Foyer (photo: Nora Wehofsits/ECPMF)


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