Sinem Tezyapar is in jail in Istanbul. She was sentenced by a kangaroo court in Turkey on flawed evidence to 867 years in prison for allegedly belonging to a religious sect organised by Adnan Oktar. She has been imprisoned for her religious beliefs and because she is an intelligent and articulate woman with strong opinions and beliefs. She was an executive producer on Turkish Television. She was an inter-faith manager a religious commentator and a peace activist.
As a Muslim woman from Turkey, who believes in a better and more peaceful world, she has strong opinions about religious freedom, and about the direction she would like to see her fellow citizens to take. She had the audacity to try to develop a conversation with the people of Israel, and to publish comment on the relations between the islamic world and Israel with which the Erdogan Government disagreed.
She was the author of an opinion editorial entitled, “When will the Muslims Stop Blaming their Problems on the Jews?” She wrote the piece after Iran blamed a deadly earthquake in September 2013 on Israel. In it she writes, “Whenever a calamity falls upon Muslim majority countries, there is always a country to blame: Israel.”
She is the victim of a gross miscarriage of justice which contravenes all of the values and principles of individual religious freedom that we hold dear.
I appeal to the European Parliament and to the institutions of the European Union to examine in detail the case of Sinem Tezyapar and to urge Turkey’s President Erdogan to set her free. Monday 8th March is International Women’s Day. Now is the time to act, and to write letters of appeal to President Erdogan, to international NGOs that protect human rights and to the European Parliament to campaign for her release.