JailedTurkishnovelist Asli Erdogancalls on Europe tostand / dw.com / 1.11.2016
  JailedTurkishnovelist Asli Erdogancalls on Europe tostandupforitsvalues

Turkishnovelist Asli Erdogan has been in jail since August 19 forallegedlinkstoKurdishmilitants. She has written an urgentpleaforEuropeanleaderstospeakoutagainstcurrentdevelopments in Turkey.

Dearfriends, colleagues, journalistsandmembers of thepress,
I am writingthislettertoyoufromBakirkoyPrison, thedayafter ”Cumhuriyet,” one of ouroldestnewspapersandthevoice of Turkey’ssocialdemocrats, has beensubjectedto a policeoperation. Morethan a dozen of itswritersare in custody at the moment, whilefourmoreare ”wantedbypolice,” including Can Dundar, general director.

Even I wasshocked!
This is a clearsignthatTurkey has decidedtodisobeyanylaworrespectanyrights.

Currently, morethan 130 journalistsare in jail — a worldrecord. Additionally, 170 newspapers, periodicals, andradio/TV channelshavebeenshutdown in twomonths.

Ourcurrentgovernmentwantstomonopolize ”reality” and ”truth.” Anyopiniondifferingslightlyfromthat of therulers is violentlysuppressed: Theyaresubjectedtopolicebeatings, helddayandnightundercustody (upto 30 days), amongotherpunishments.
I wasarrested on August 19 simplybecause I am one of theadvisors of ”OzgurGundem,” the ”Kurdishpaper.” AlthoughPressLaw 11 clearlystatesthatadvisorshaveno legal responsibilityforthepaper, I haven’t yet seen a courtthatwill listen tomystory.

Alongwith me in thisKafkaesktrial is Necmiye Alpay, a 70—year—old linguistandtranslatorwho has alsobeenarrestedandchargedwithterrorism.
Thisletter is an urgentcall!
Thesituation is drasticandhorrifyingandextremelyworrisome. I believethat a totalitarianregime in Turkeywillunavoidablyshakeall of Europe eventually.

Europe, currentlyconcentrated on its ”refugeecrisis,” seemstounderestimatetheperils of total loss of democracy in Turkey. Nowwe — thewriters, thejournalists, theKurdish, theAlevitesand, of course, thewomen — arepayingtheheavypriceforthe ”democracycrisis.”
Europe shouldassumeitsresponsibilityforthevalues it has definedwiththeblood of centuries, thevaluesthatmake ”Europe” a democracywithhumanrights, includingfreedom of speechandthought.
Manythanksforwhatyouhavedonefor us so far.
Best wishes,

Asli Erdogan
November 1, 2016
BakirkoyPrison, C—9




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