August 9, 2017
As you know, last month, a group of human rights activists who had gathered in Büyükada at a training intended for the protection of human rights activists, were taken into custody, and afterwards were arrested.
Even though suspicions had arisen around having the meeting on the island, in fact, having a meeting on the island is an ordinary thing. Once, I had also joined a workshop in Heybeliada. Together with a group of academicians, journalists, and legal experts, we had talked about the circumstances within the media. The reason for having a meeting on an island is so that you do not get stuck in a hotel room for two days but work in a peaceful atmosphere with a clear head.
Besides, if the one on Büyükada was a “secret and dangerous” meeting as claimed, would the meeting room’s doors be open?
“The door was open,” is written on the official report. Today, I will tell you about Amnesty International Turkey’s director İdil Eser who was arrested on charges of “helping an armed terrorist organization” because of joining this meeting. I will tell you about her from her friends’ point of view.
İdil was born in 1963 in İstanbul. She studied business management at Istanbul University after graduating from the Üsküdar American Academy and did her postgraduate in International Relations at Columbia University. For many years, she worked as a freelance translator after she finished her doctorate degree courses at Chicago University’s department of Russian history.