Aslı Erdoğan should not be arrested

Aslı Erdoğan should not be arrested

Aslı Erdoğan has been arrested. That should not have happened.

She is accused of “provoking people” to commit terrorism. How did she do that? With her excellent books?
She is accused of being a “member of an illegal organization.” She cannot be a member of any organization other than the “organization of first class contributors to literature.”

For those trying to make her a criminal by “doing the propaganda of a terror organization,” I ask: What evidence do you have?

Her articles...

This cannot be. This is shameful.

Forget the fact that Aslı was a woman with a high IQ level. Forget that following her graduation from quality schools like Robert College and Boğaziçi University, she was among the first names to be accepted to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) from Turkey.

Forget that she has a special place in world literature with her books. Forget about her being shown as one of the “50 promising writers of the future.” Forget her many awards.

Even if none of that were true, this arrest should never have happened.

The voice of those who can’t raise their voice

Aslı has always carried the voice of the antagonized, forgotten, cursed, pushed aside, looked down on.
She wrote her books about crude nationalism, oppression of the victim, humiliations, and injustices. She used only her conscience as a reference.

She was walking on the side of Africans who subjected to racism in Turkey, at a time when even those on the left voiced objections with nationalist reflexes, saying “there is no racism in Turkey.” 

She answered letters sent from prisons, writing “I’m sending you the sea, the forests and the skies,” enclosing the package with a stone from the Aegean, a birds’ feather, and a pine cone.

It is she who was introduced in a TRT documentary as “Writer Aslı Erdoğan... Modest… A human rights activist, who fights against racism and especially against the oppression of women, is a particular favorite among young readers. This well-educated young woman struggles on the one hand against discrimination and on the other hand against the dichotomy between pain and hope, life and death.”

You cannot make a terrorist from Aslı Erdoğan

Squeeze Aslı, and you cannot get a terrorist out of her.

Even if you close up her body - which has been harmed by illness, accidents and attacks - even if you were to accuse her with irrational crimes, you cannot make her into a terrorist.

Aslı Erdoğan is just the latest example in a shameful, cursed chain of intimidation efforts in Turkey’s history against hundreds of writers like Nazım Hikmet and Sabahattin Ali.


If you do not see her arrest as an intimidation effort, your conscience has been blinded.

If the only evidence you provide when you arrest her is articles talking only about peace, and the list of advisory boards of publications that is there out of formality, if your only argument is “but that newspaper supports terror,” then I have no more to say. Pack up and go home.

As Aslı said during her interrogation: “I have written seven novels, as I am a person of literature. They have been translated into 15 languages. I have no relationship whatsoever with any terror organization. My advisory board work absolutely does not interfere in what is written, or the publication policy. I don’t accept any of the accusations against me.”

Aslı Erdoğan has been arrested. This cannot be...