The University of Oslo Human Rights Award 2017
On November 13, Turkish academic, social commentator and human rights defender Professor İştar Gözaydın received this year’s award. Dr. Gözaydın is an important representative for persecuted academics all over the world.
Rector Svein Stølen presented award winner İştar Gözaydın, but she was not present in person for the award ceremony. This is because she is not allowed to leave Turkey while awating the trial against her. In her place, there was an empty chair on stage, and Ahmet Erdi Öztürk, a Turkish academic from Strasbourg University, received the award on Dr. Gözaydın’s behalf. Dr. Gözaydın participated via skype, and the director of the the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights interviewed her.
Norway’s Scholars at Risk representative Karen-Lise Knudson presented the report Free to Think 2017, and UiO Postdoc Einar Wigen spoke about the situation in Turkey. After Director Bostad presented this year’s award, there was a reception in Domus Bibliotheca.
About İştar Gözaydın
In 1993 Dr. Gözaydın founded the Turkish Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly together with well-known intellectuals such as Murat Belge and Orhan Pamuk. This politically independent organization works for peace, democratization, political pluralism, rule of law and sustainable development.
She has written articles and books where she focuses on the relationship between religion and politics in Turkey. Dr. Gözaydın was arrested in her home on December 19th 2016 together with several former employees of Gediz University. Like most of the 100,000 people who have been arrested after the attempted coup, she has been charged with “membership in an armed terrorist organization”. Dr. Gözaydin was released in March 2017, but is in danger of being sentenced for supporting terrorism.
See video from The University of Oslo's Human Rights Award 2017.
Pictures from Gamle festal after 1:45.