This exhibit and presentation was a powerful and moving visual experience of a highly harsh reality happening in Turkey now.
The Hizmet people are seekers of peace and justice; they are committed to education and the eradication of poverty throughout the world. The government, led by President Erdogan, has evolved into a brutal, military regime that tortures and imprisons the Hizmet people linked by membership or affiliation with a peaceful and liberal Islamic faith expression. Under the guise of Islamic law, President Erdogan has misused political power to isolate and eliminate opposition, resulting in quashing voices of dissent in a country once a bastion of liberal democracy. Many Hizmet and Kurdish people have lost their lives at the hands of this injustice.
The exhibit consists of around 40 pieces and their detailed stories, such as Kurdish political prisoner Garibe Gezer who was sexually harassed, tortured, and killed in jail; dismissed professor Haluk Savas who was denied his right to travel to get medical treatment for cancer and eventually died, 11-year-old Kurdish girl Cemile Cagin who was killed by a sniper during a curfew and whose dead body had to be kept in a freezer by her mother for days, and Ahmet Burhan Atac, a young boy who died of cancer before his mother was denied her right to travel with him to get treatment.
The artifacts in this exhibit were generously donated by the families of voices silenced by torture, persecution, and death. We are grateful for this opportunity to unmute their voices and share their stories through this presentation.
Advocates of Silenced Turkey`s mission is (1) to address all human rights violations in Turkey regarding civil, political, economic, social, and cultural as contained in the basic human rights documents; (2) to prevent genocide, crime against humanity, arbitrary detention, torture and ill-treatment, and discrimination and to defend the right to life, rule of law, right to privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, freedom of associations, and (3) to utilize all human rights advocacy tools, mechanisms, and systems that can possibly be used to protect and promote the human rights of those whose voices are being silenced in Turkey and beyond.