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Turkey: Critical opinions 'violently suppressed'

Vera Tellmann
November 3, 2016

Turkish novelist, journalist and activist Asli Erdogan has been in jail since August. On November 1 she sent a letter to Deutsche Welle urging European leaders to support writers and journalists in Turkey now.

Asli Erdogan
Image: Imago

"This letter is an urgent call," Asli Erdogan writes from Bakirkoy Prison in Istanbul. "The situation is drastic and horrifying and extremely worrisome. I believe that a totalitarian regime in Turkey will unavoidably shake all of Europe eventually."

The novelist writes: "Europe, currently concentrated on its "refugee crisis," seems to underestimate the perils of total loss of democracy in Turkey. Now we – the writers, the journalists, the Kurdish, the Alevites and, of course, the women – are paying the heavy price for the "democracy crisis."  

Asli Erdogan: "Europe should assume its responsibility for the values it has defined with the blood of centuries, the values that make "Europe" a democracy with human rights, including freedom of speech and thought." 

"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, among other punishments."

Erdogan writes she was arrested "simply because I am one of the advisors of "Ozgur Gundem," the "Kurdish paper." Although Press Law 11 clearly states that advisors have no legal responsibility for the paper, I haven't yet seen a court that will listen to my story."

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