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b_300_200_16777215_00_images_z14.jpgThe Susma platform, which organizes meetings against rights violations across the country, was in Ankara on May 6, holding a conference entitled Freedom of Expression under State of Emergency. Representatives of civil society organizations including organizations that have been shut down under decrees, journalists, artists and legal professionals attended the event. Members of the Susma team made presentations about the activities of Susma and lawyer Ferat Çağıl gave a brief speech on what can victims do in the face of rights violations under State of Emergency.

The speakers at the event included Cumhuriyet journalist Selda Güneysu, writer and academic Aksu Bora and writer Pelin Buzluk.

Selda Güneysu shared her own experiences of censorship in the media, saying that the State of Emergency regime has effectively turned Parliament into a place which only approves of the decrees adopted by the government. Academic Aksu Bora said oppression in Turkey preceded the State of Emergency, sharing her experiences about a study she conducted as part of a women’s commission. She noted that 20 percent of the associations shut down are women’s organizations.

Writer Pelin Buzluk, who was dismissed from her job at the Forestry and Water Affairs Ministry under a decree, shared her own experiences. She said most of the bureaucrats come from Islamist backgrounds, a result of the ongoing purge in government agencies.