Security cooperation agreements have emerged as a significant mechanism used by the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan since the Gezi anti-government protests of 2013 to harass journalists and critics living abroad.
Research conducted by Nordic Monitor shows that the content of the security agreements has changed in parallel to the transformation of national legislation and that the new documents contain ambiguous copy-paste phrases designed to suppress government opponents outside the country, while the number of agreements has increased since the Gezi uprising.
The Gezi protests erupted in May 2013 over a government plan to destroy and redevelop a park near the famous Taksim Square in central İstanbul. Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in Turkey to protest Erdogan’s authoritarian policies. The Gezi protests were one of the largest protest rallies in modern Turkish history.
Erdoğan’s strategy of repressing critics and journalists and of destroying freedoms guaranteed by the Turkish constitution and relevant domestic laws accelerated after the Gezi protests. Turkey’s anti-democratic process took on new momentum after corruption scandals that incriminated Erdoğan became public knowledge in the December 17-25, 2013 period. (nordicmonitor.com)