Interview with Özlem Dalkıran of the Istanbul 10: "It was a clear message to civil society in Turkey: Stop"
17 Jul 2020

On 5 July 2017, human rights defenders from a number of different organisations gathered on the island of Büyükada for a workshop on the protection of digital information.

On the third day of the workshop, ten of the attendees were arrested at gunpoint and later charged with aiding the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization, which President Erdoğan blames for 2016’s failed military coup.

The Istanbul 10, as they became known, were released on bail on October 25th 2017, after 113 days in detention but then faced three years of court hearings.

On 3 July 2020, former Amnesty Turkey chair Taner Kılıç was convicted of membership of the Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization and sentenced to 6 years 3 months in prison.

Meanwhile, Özlem Dalkıran, İdil Eser and Günal Kurşun were convicted of assisting the organization and sentenced to 25 months, pending an appeals process which could last years.

As the sentences were announced, Index’s editor-in-chief Rachael Jolley spoke with Özlem Dalkıran.

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