Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan upset about being unable to travel to Germany

Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan upset about being unable to travel to Germany

ISTANBUL
Turkish writer Aslı Erdoğan upset about being unable to travel to Germany

Aslı Erdoğan, a prominent Turkish novelist, has said she is upset about being unable to travel to Germany to receive a peace prize since her passport, which was previously seized amid her trial on terror charges, has not yet been returned.

“I am an international writer after all. I live through international connections, relationships, books. At least I live with the money that I earn from abroad,” she told Deutsche Welle in an interview published on Sept. 1. 

Erdoğan was to accept the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize in person in the German city of Osnabrück on Sept. 22, but now someone else is scheduled to receive the award on her behalf. 

“I cannot contact the press. I cannot go to festivals. I cannot make myself heard even as a writer. I cannot even talk about my books, yet alone politics. How many prizes will I receive in a lifetime? They kill me as a writer. It’s just killing me,” Erdoğan said. 

Erdoğan, 50, was arrested last summer and kept in jail for 132 days on charges of carrying out “terror propaganda” in the probe into the now-closed daily Özgür Gündem, which Ankara condemned as a mouthpiece for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

She was released in December 2016 but as her charges were ongoing, she was given a travel ban, hindering her from participating in five award ceremonies abroad up until now.

The travel ban was lifted by a court order on June 22, but authorities have reportedly not yet returned her passport.

“They said they would look into it during the trial to be held on Oct. 31,” Erdoğan said.