FECO will support this action
Please send it around
I hope this message finds you well.
You will I’m sure have seen the recent news regarding Musa Kart, the 2005 winner of CRNI’s Courage in Editorial Cartooning Award and the current laureate of Cartooning For Peace Swiss Foundation’s International Press Drawing Award.
Like a number of former employees at the Cumhuriyet newspaper, Musa’s appeal against a criminal conviction handed down in 2018 for “supporting a terrorist organisation while not being a member” has failed. He will therefore be required to return to prison for one year and sixteen days, having already been jailed for nine months pre-trial.
As unacceptable as this is, if you look at the entire timeline Musa’s sentence is relatively light compared with that was originally sought by his prosecutors. We feel that when this is taken into account with some other mitigating factors, including the fact that no date has yet been set when he must return to custody, the most useful thing to do on his behalf is an appeal for clemency.
I therefore attach a letter with content approved by CRNI, CFP, the Kart family and their lawyers. I encourage you circulate this to the leaders of FECO's various local organisations asa ask that they add a covering note on their own organisation's letterhead with their chairperson or president’s endorsement and send to Turkey's embassy in their country's capital as well as the counterpart in Ankara. In addition they may wish to write to the office of their secretary state or minister for foreign affairs.
Bearing in mind that this is an election year in Turkey and the ruling party’s crackdown on critical voices within academia, the press and media continues, ours may be a slim hope. As and when Musa is back behind bars more strident action will be appropriate. For the moment we’re giving diplomatic language a try.
Let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.
With best wishes,