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Democracy, Human Rights and Media Freedom in Turkey

Friday, July 21, 2017 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Challenges and Possibilities Moving Forward

A panel discussion about Turkey, a once-democratic country that has become an autocracy in the span of just few years. With an eye on the new U.S. administration, panelists will analyze how Turkey, our strategic NATO ally, drifted away from its former values and principles.

They will discuss the deteriorating media freedoms in the country and various factors that caused Turkey to backslide from its hard-won democracy.  Are there parallels to our government’s relationship with the media?

Baklava, spinach böreks and Turkish tea will be served, as well as happy hour beer and wine.


Mahir Zeynalov is the first Turkish journalist to be deported from Turkey, and the first that President Erdogan sought to have imprisoned.  He rose to international prominence documenting the recent media crackdown in Turkey. He worked for Turkey’s leading English-language daily until it was shut down by the government in 2016.  He started his career at the Los Angeles Times, regularly contributes to the Huffington Post and is a frequent commentator on CNN, NBC, Al Jazeera and BBC.

Ori Z. Soltes is Professor of Teaching at Georgetown University, and former Director and Curator of the B’nai B’rith Klutznick National Jewish Museum in Washington, DC, where he curated over 80 exhibitions. He has taught and lectured in 23 other universities and museums throughout the country. Professor Soltes was educated in Classics and Philosophy at Haverford College, in Classics at Princeton University and The Johns Hopkins University and in Interdisciplinary Studies at Union University. He is the author of over 240 articles, exhibition catalogs, essays, books and documentary videos on a wide range of topics.

This program is part of the museum’s History Happy Hour series sponsored by Therrien Waddell Construction Group.

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