Down the Rabbit Hole: Turkey in Nightmareland

Welcome to our open Guest Lecture by Idil Eser, former Executive Director of Amnesty international Turkey


The lecture will start with information about the historical background of various political problems besetting Turkey going back 200 years. After a short presentation about the human rights, rule of law and democracy situation between 1950-2013, the speech will concentrate on how the last 6 years have changed the human rights topography in Turkey in regard to freedom of expression, freedom of media, defending human rights, social, economic and cultural rights. The lecture will end with recommendations to people of other countries about issues that played a critical role in the demise of democracy and human rights in Turkey.

Light refreshments will be served



Idil Eser got her B.A. in Business Administration Faculty of Istanbul University. After completing course work for EU Community Law at Marmara University, she went to USA and got a M.I.A. from School of International Affairs of Columbia University, NYC. She got a full scholarship to do her Ph.D. in Russian History at the University of Chicago, but she had to quit her academic career when her mother got terminally ill and she had to return to Turkey to take care of her. She worked at various NGOs in Turkey including TEMA (biggest environmental NGO), History Foundation, Helsinki Citizens' Assembly in various administrative roles. She also worked as the NGO Networking Expert in a big EU project titled "Civil Society-Public Sector Co-operation in Turkey". Besides providing consultancy services to NGOs about fund raising, project writing and project management, she also took part in the first phase of Civil Society Management Program, giving lectures about preparing and managing Project Budgets. After she worked as the liaison person between Helsinki Citizens' Assembly of Turkey and MSF (Doctors without Borders), she provided consultancy services to corporations about Human Resources for a while. On May 2016, she became the Executive Director of Amnesty International Turkey. She was detained and arrested along with 9 other human rights defenders at a workshop in July 2017. She was released on bail along with all the other human rights defenders after 4 months due to international pressure. She quit her job at Amnesty International at the end of June 2018 after a smooth administrative transition period was secured. She came to Norway at the end of October in 2018, she currently works as a guest researcher at the Norwegian Human Rights Center of Oslo University on an Amnesty grant.  

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When: 22. March 2019 kl. 10.15–12.00
Where: Centre for Peace Studies, Nedre Lysthus, U-06
Location / Campus: Tromsø
Target group: Employees, Students, Guests, Invited, Enhet
Kontakt: christine smith-simonsen