Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has had an unprecedented string of election victories, launched major reforms, and improved social services, thanks to almost ten years of economic growth. Yet, the party’s increasingly authoritarian practices and restrictions on individual freedoms are at odds with its stated objective of establishing an advanced democracy. Popular discontent with the AKP’s suppressive policies erupted with major civil protests in May and June 2013.

Marc Pierini, Marietje Schaake, member of the European Parliament, and Sinan Ülgen addressed freedom of cultural expression and coexistence of lifestyles in Turkey—two issues that are crucial to the advancement of democracy in Turkey. Jan Techau moderated.

The discussion, hosted in cooperation with the Open Society Foundations—Turkey, marked the release of Pierini’s latest paper, Individual Freedoms in Turkey.

An Anadolu Kültür photo exhibition, “Views from Within: 2013 Gezi Park Protests,” followed the event.