The Exchange Association of the German Book Trade (Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels), together with the German Poets, Essayists, and Novelists Center (PEN) and Reporters without Borders, has started a petition, which is currently attracting attention in the social media. With the title of #FreeWordsTurkey, this online appeal stands up for the freedom of expression, information and media in Turkey and urges the German Federal Government and the European Commission to not let these values become a matter of negotiations.
The freedom of expression is a human right and should not be negotiable. Prominent fellow campaigners like the Turkish journalist Can Dündar, who is currently living in exile, are working to promote the petition and gain a greater public outreach. On the 24th February, together with the CEO of the Exchange Association of the German Book Trade Alexander Skipis and other colleagues, he submitted the gathered signatures to the government spokesperson Steffen Seibert. 130.000 people have already signed the appeal.
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation supports the petition unequivocally. Violations of the freedom of expression and any other civil and human rights are in contradiction to the democratic values of the Foundation for Freedom. The German Federal Government is urged to stand up decisively and actively for these fundamental rights and to demand them.