Turkish novelist Aslı Erdoğan receives Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize in Germany
AFP photoTurkish novelist Aslı Erdoğan received Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize in the German city of Osnabrück on Sept. 22.
Erdoğan, who spent 132 days in jail after being arrested last summer, gave a speech before the ceremony, expressing her happiness at being in Germany for the ceremony but highlighting that “180 writers in Turkey are still in jail and unable to go abroad.”
She had been arrested on charges of carrying out “terror propaganda” in a probe into the now-closed daily Özgür Gündem, which Ankara condemned as a mouthpiece for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Erdoğan was released in December 2016 but because her charges are 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, and the authorities finally returned Erdoğan’s passport more than two months after her travel ban was lifted, her lawyer stated on Sept. 8.
Germany Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he was very happy for Erdoğan to be able to receive the prize in Germany.
Speaking to Deutsche Welle in an interview on Sept. 1, Erdoğan expressed her frustration about not being able to travel abroad before receiving back her passport.
“I am an international writer after all. I live through international connections, relationships, books,” she said.