Italian graphic artist Gianluca Costantini said in an interview with the Stockholm Center for Freedom that democracy in Turkey had been only a dream since the 2013 Gezi Park protests. He added that the situation had deteriorated further since an abortive putsch on July 15, 2016. “Human rights are violated on a daily basis in Turkey, especially since the failed coup in 2016,” he said.
As part of SCF’s interview series “Freedom Talks,” our researcher İrem Çörekçi spoke with Costantini about art and activism, human rights violations in Turkey and the possibility of using art to establish a more democratic world.
Costantini is a cartoonist, artist, graphic journalist and activist. He is known for drawing people whose rights have been violated around the world. Human rights violations in Turkey have been in his focus, and he has been accused of spreading terrorist propaganda by Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Costantini has not been allowed to enter Turkey since a coup attempt on July 15, 2016, and his personal website where he publishes his work is banned in Turkey. However, all these restrictions have not stopped Costantini from using his pen to address human rights violations in Turkey. He has written about political prisoners in Turkey, children and babies behind bars in Turkish prisons, imprisoned and exiled journalists, activists, people killed or persecuted by Turkish authorities, minority rights in Turkey and much more. Continue