A panel titled “On the Way to Freedom to Publish” has been organized on the first saturday of the 2015 Izmir Book Fair. Speakers were Turkish Journalists Association President Turgay Olcayto, writer Mine Söğüt and writer Hakan Günday. Moderated by Faruk Suyun, the panel speakers shared their experiences on freedom to publish in Turkey.
Sogut said that another generation is likely to continue discussing this issue because it is a systemic problem. She adviced to get into an overall system critique and reconstruction of the opponent identity as totally independent from the system. Olcayto summarized the last 12-13 years as a period of acceleration pressure over freedom of expression, mentioning that autocensorship has been settled as a norm among journalists in Turkey related to the fear of losing jobs or being targeted by the government and 7000 journalists were fired because they could not adopt this situation.
Günday, spoke of the “bossing” mechanisms surrounding the writers such as “present laws, ex-laws, moral rules, society rules, fame, money, these are all among the bosses. They are aligned while you are merely trying to tell a story. I found my way to abstain from these: I took my story as my boss. You are beaten by it the most but it also makes you go through the right way.” Mentioning that writing is and interesting form of communication, he added that freedom for publishers is actually not only the issue of publishing but also of the readers, they should also demand this freedom for their own awakeness and free thinking.