HAMBURG, May 19, 2017 – Turkey – a challenge for EU diplomacy, a test for Europe’s democracy and a threat to freedom of the media and freedom of expression. Is this candidate for future EU membership growing more distant? As the EU and Turkey focus on internal challenges – the rise of populism shaking up Europe, Erdogan’s controversial reforms reshaping Turkey – are populists on both sides exploiting this political jumble? With political tensions rising, will Europe stand up for Turkey’s imprisoned journalists? Who will call on Erdogan to stop cracking down on free speech? What implications does this have for the future of Turkey and its relations with its neighbours and allies? How can we ensure that fundamental rights and freedoms are not left behind the next time these two sides try to talk to each other?

Organised in partnership with the European Foundation for Democracy.

Zeynep Erdim, Journalist, BBC World Turkey

Emre Kizilkaya, Digital Content Coordinator, Hurriyet
Arne Lietz, Member of the European Parliament (SPD), European Parliament
Demir Murat Seyrek, Senior Policy Advisor, European Foundation for Democracy