Two groups of students from Denmark visited bianet this week. They received information about the situation of freedom of expression in Turkey, politics and the work of bianet.
30 students came to the bianet office in Istanbul together with their teacher Kaj Pinholt Jespersen of the Copenhagen Nørre High School on Tuesday (23 March), another 26 students from the Næstved High School with their teacher Per Nørholm Rasmussen paid a visit on Wednesday morning.
Erol Önderoğlu, bianet editor for freedom of expression, informed the students about oppressing legal regulations, restrictive manners of the judiciary and the approach of the government. He pointed out that former taboo topics like military tutelage, the Armenian issue or the Kurdish question can be discussed more freely nowadays. Nevertheless, the ambivalent attitude of the judiciary can still hinder the process.
Önderoğlu also talked about the freedom of association, journalists' rights and problems experienced in the local media. The students were furthermore interested in the Turkey's accession process of the European Union and the real impact of the democratization initiated by the ruling Justice and Development Party.
The students also asked questions about the possible role of the media for a mutual understanding and rapprochement between Turkey and European countries.
Current publication director Erhan Üstündağ introduced the students to the work of BIA, the Independent Communication Network, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
Jespsersen explained that the students work on a certain country each year and eventually pay a visit to that country to transfer what they have learnt on-site. (EÜ/VK)
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