We need solidarity and support, jailed Turkish novelist Aslı Erdoğan tells Europe
ISTANBULJailed Turkish novelist Aslı Erdoğan has called on Europe to show solidarity and support to imprisoned writers and journalists in Turkey.
“This is a clear sign that Turkey has decided to disobey law and disrespect rights,” she said in a letter to Deutsche Welle, adding that “more than 130 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey.”
“Additionally, 170 newspapers, periodicals, and radio/TV channels have been shut down in the last two months. Our current government wants to monopolize ‘reality’ and ‘truth.’ Any opinion differing slightly from that of the rulers’ is violently suppressed: They are subjected to police beatings, held day and night under custody (up to 30 days), among other punishments,” she said.
Erdoğan said she has not been tried since her arrest, and added that Necmiye Alpay, a linguist and translator who has also been arrested and charged with terrorism, is with her in the “Kafkaesque” trial.
“This letter is an urgent call! The situation is drastic and horrifying and extremely worrying. I believe that a totalitarian regime in Turkey will unavoidably shake Europe eventually. Europe, currently concentrated on its ‘refugee crisis,’ seems to underestimate the perils of total loss of democracy in Turkey. Now we – the writers, journalists, Kurds, [Alevis] and, of course, women – are paying the heavy price of the ‘democracy crisis,’” she wrote.
“We need your full solidarity and support,” she added.
Erdoğan was arrested in August with other employees of daily Özgür Gündem after a court ordered it closed for allegedly engaging in propaganda for the PKK. Erdoğan, a member of Özgür Gündem’s advisory board, was sent to a jail in Istanbul on preliminary charges of “membership of a terrorist organization” and “undermining national unity.”
Police raided the building of Özgür Gündem, which has been repeatedly closed down in the past, on Aug. 16 after it was “temporarily” shut down.