TURKEY: Monthly "301" Action – 19 January 2008


Action Marking the First Anniversary of the Murder of Hrant Dink "For Hrant, For Justice"

9 January 2007

Saturday 19 January marks the first anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink in Istanbul. International PEN is supporting the "Hrant Için, Adalet Için" (For Hrant, For Justice) campaign being run by a consortium of Turkish organisations who are staging events in Istanbul in commemoration of Hrant Dink. Posters and banners have been produced for the events with slogans including "For Hrant, For Justice" and "What Happened on 19 January?". A website has been launched in Turkish and English which gives information on the events being staged in Turkey and abroad. For details of the commemorations and to download posters, go to the website: www.hranticinadaleticin.com/en/invite.html

The key event will be held outside the Istanbul office of the magazine Agos of which Hrant Dink was editor and where he was shot dead. It will be held at 3pm, the hour of his death, on 19 January. There will also be other events including arts and cultural shows. Turkish PEN will be participating and International PEN President Eugene Schoulgin, WiPC Programme Director Sara Whyatt, and English PEN member, writer journalist, academic and translator, Maureen Freely will also be present.

Other News

The Turkish government is due to present proposed changes to Article 301 of the Turkish PEN code in the coming days. The calls for repeal have not been met, and the focus will be on the terms including "insult to Turkishness" which is likely to be changed to "denigrating the Turkish Nation". There is also the possibility that penalties under the law are to be reduced. For more on this and other free expression issues got to the Bianet website

Eugene Schoulgin, Sara Whyatt and Maureen Freely will take the opportunity of being present in Turkey to learn more about the proposed changes, meet with writers who are on trial or under threat, and to explore other Turkish legislation under which writers and journalists are tried and conviction in violation of their right to freedom of expression.

Recommended Actions

-Stage a vigil: you can join the commemorations by staging a vigil outside the Turkish embassy or other suitable venue. Download and print out the banners to take with you.

- Send a personal message: if you are unable to stage a vigil, you can use the flyer attached to send a personal message to the Turkish embassy in your country. The flyer can be adapted to include your own or your Centre's name, and a personal message, which can either be typed in or written by hand. (If you have problems downloading this flyer, please contact Sara Whyatt at the address below.

- Inform the For Hrant, For Justice website of any events that your Centre is staging in commemoration of Hrant Dink. Use the link on their website and copy to Sara Whyatt at the email below, to be included in the list of events. These can include events that take place after the anniversary. www.hranticinadaleticin.com/en/invite.html

Sara Whyatt

Programme Director Writers in Prison Committee International PEN

Brownlow House 50/51 High Holborn London WC1V 6ER UK Tel: + 44 (0) 20 7405 0338 Fax: + ff (0) 20 7405 0339 Email: [email protected]