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Those responsible for human rights violations rarely change their actions without being pressured to do so—something Amnesty International recognized over 50 years ago. In 1962, Peter Berenson organized a letter-writing campaign to pressure the Portuguese government to free students who had been jailed simply for proposing a toast to freedom. This led to the founding of Amnesty International and to its winning the Nobel Prize.  For those U.S. readers of this blog who want to play an active role in improving Turkish human rights, we urge you to join TURKRAN, Amnesty International USA’s action network.  TURKRAN members respond to human rights violations in Turkey by writing letters and sending e-mails to pressure those responsible whenever Amnesty International documents these violations.  One letter is easily ignored; hundreds of letters are often effective in bringing about change.

If you want to join with us in making perpetrators accountable, send an e-mail to the address of the AIUSA Turkey Coordination Group’s TURKRAN coordinator, Natsumi Ajiki.  For those of you not in the U.S., we will do our best to get you in touch with Amnesty groups working on Turkey in your own country.