Travel bans of novelist Erdoğan, linguist Alpay lifted

Travel bans of novelist Erdoğan, linguist Alpay lifted

ISTANBUL – Agence France Presse
Travel bans of novelist Erdoğan, linguist Alpay lifted

A court on June 22 lifted foreign travel bans imposed on one of Turkey’s leading contemporary novelists, Aslı Erdoğan, and linguist Necmiye Alpay after they were put on trial on charges of “supporting terrorist groups.” 

The move by the Istanbul court will allow Erdoğan to travel abroad and receive prizes she has been unable to collect due the ban.

However she remains on trial on charges of “terror propaganda” for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), with the next hearing due on Oct. 31, her lawyer Erdal Doğan said.

Erdoğan, 50, was arrested last summer and held in jail for 132 days on terror propaganda charges during a probe into the now-closed Özgür Gündem newspaper, which Ankara condemned as a mouthpiece for PKK.

She was released in December but the charges were kept in place and the travel ban maintained until now. 

The travel ban of the prominent translator Alpay, 70, who is on trial in the same case, was also lifted.

Alpay was charged over three articles written for Özgür Gündem last year on the situation in southeast where Turkish armed forces are battling with the PKK.

The former editor-in-chief of Özgür Gündem, Eren Keskin, is also on trial in the same case. The court has lifted her obligation to visit the police station once a week to give a signature.

“I still give a signature every Sunday. I am having difficulties due to my job. I demand that this judicial control decision be lifted,” Keskin said in her court hearing. 

Erdoğan has published several well-received novels including “The City in the Crimson Cloak,” which has been translated into English.

She was among the laureates of the 2017 Princess Margriet Award for Culture and was unable to attend the awards ceremony in Amsterdam on May 9 due to the travel ban.