Hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside Downing Street today ahead of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with UK prime minister Theresa May.
Index joined English Pen, Reporters Without Borders, Cartoonist Rights Network International and dozens of protesters to call on the British government to hold president Erdogan accountable for the ongoing crackdown on journalists and free speech within Turkey following the attempted coup in July 2016. Other groups, including the Kurdish Solidarity Campaign, also demonstrated against Erdogan’s visit in large numbers.
— Index on Censorship (@IndexCensorship) May 15, 2018
Addressing the crowd, Index on Censorship magazine editor Rachael Jolley said: “If Theresa May cares about free speech, if this government cares about free speech and free expression, this should be on the table for this meeting with President Erdogan. “This British government often talks about its commitment to free speech, so let’s see the sign of this in its international politics. How can we believe in a government’s commitment to free expression if it is willing to meet international leaders where free expression is massively threatened and they do not talk about that.”
Many protests outside Downing Street this morning ahead of #Erdogan’s visit. We call on @Theresa_May to raise the issue of #Turkey’s 155 imprisoned journalists. #FreeTurkeyMedia #JournalismIsNotACrime pic.twitter.com/9VR9zAvreW — Index on Censorship (@IndexCensorship) May 15, 2018
Under the state of emergency declared since the intended coup in 2016, voices critical of the Turkish government have seen a major crackdown.
— Ryan McChrystal 🐙 (@RyanMcChrystal) May 15, 2018