Freedom of the Press: Lessons from Turkey

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Events Featured Events General Events Uncategorized

Freedom of the Press: Lessons from Turkey

Speakers: Abdülhamit Bilici, Turkey newspaper executive in exile; and James Harrington, author, founder and director emeritus of the Texas Civil Rights Project

When: Thursday, March 2nd at 5:30pm

Where: Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living, 505 Camino de Los Marquez

Cost: $15 CIR Members; $20 Non-members & Guests; students and faculty attend for free. Groups of 10 are eligible for a discount when purchasing advance tickets.

Abdülhamit Bilici

Join us on Thursday, March 2nd to discuss the recent turmoil in Turkey, with a particular lens on the essential role of journalism in a democracy. CIR is proud to convene a conversation on this highly topical subject, featuring the voice of a prominent newspaper executive, Mr. Abdülhamit Bilici, recently exiled for his political opinions, and Mr. James Harrington, a prominent author and the founder of the Texas Civil Rights Project.

Abdülhamit Bilici is a Turkish newspaper executive in exile following recent political turmoil and government oppression of the media in Turkey. Before leaving the country, Bilici served as editor-in-chief of the newspaper Zaman Daily, the largest daily newspaper in Turkey. He also was Chief Executive Officer of its English-language version, Today’s Zaman. Bilici also served as general director of Cihan News Agency and as editor of Aksiyon Weekly Magazine.

Starting his career at the Zaman Daily as a correspondent, Bilici worked as an editor at Aksiyon Magazine between 1995-1997, as foreign news editor at Zaman Daily between 1998-2001, as general editor at Zaman Daily between 2002-2008 and as general director of Cihan News Agency and as the editor-in-chief of the Zaman Newspaper and is a columnist for Zaman and Today’s Zaman dailies.

Bilici is an expert on Turkish politics and is widely sought as a speaker on the ongoing political crisis. He is editor of the book Why Turkey? which combines different perspectives on Turkey-EU relations.

Jim Harrington

Jim Harrington founded the Texas Civil Rights Project in 1990, a non-profit foundation that promotes social, racial, and economic justice and civil liberty for low income and poor persons. By the time he retired in March 2016, the Project had grown to a staff of 40 with offices in six Texas locations. Mr. Harrington was an adjunct professor at University of Texas Law School for 27 years and continues to teach undergraduate writing courses in civil liberties. For three summers, he taught a civil society course to Iraqi college students.

Mr. Harrington has served on human rights delegations to Central and South America and Israel and Palestinian territories. He has visited Turkey twice as part of interfaith and judicial delegations and revisited Turkey a number of times while writing his two books on events in Turkey. Mr. Harrington is author of Wrestling with Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and Democracy in Turkey: The Political Trials and Times of Fethullah Gülen and also The Texas Bill of Rights: A Commentary and Litigation Manual, He has traveled nationally and internationally, lecturing on his books or discussing civil society. In May 2015, he published a 75-page human rights report, Turkey: Democracy in Peril.

For tickets to the event, please click here.

More background here:

Turkey correspondent for “Die Welt” in police custody. February 22, 2017.