tagged free speech laws, Istanbul, Istiklal Caddesi, nationalism and turkey
It wasn’t part of our original plan, but Mike and I decided to stay put for two weeks in Istanbul. We rented an apartment right off the main drag, which is kind of like being off Houston in Soho, or Shibuya in Tokyo, Stroget in Copenhagen, or 3rd street in Santa Monica. Which is to say, there are tons of people walking on Istiklal Caddesi, the main street and innumerable bars/restaurants/cafes/shops surround us. The last census stated 11million people reside here, but it is estimated up to 18million people maybe in Istanbul at one time (this includes unregistered foreigners and tourists).
[photo: view from our 4th floor apartment]
Here’s a photo of a rally on Istiklal Caddesi. Turkey has very strict speech laws protecting Turkish identity and/or its institution. Any insults or even negative jokes about Turkey can result in up to 3 years in prison. With the desire to join the EU, the Turkish government is voting on abolishing/ amending the law to allow free speech.