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Turkey hinders author Asli Erdogan's trip to Germany

August 29, 2017

Turkish author Asli Erdogan's passport has been revoked, prohibiting her from leaving the country to accept a peace prize in Germany. Charges have been brought against her as part of Turkey's crackdown on free speech.

Pressebilder PEN International - Asli Erdogan
Image: PEN International

Asli Erdogan was to receive the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize in person in Osnabrück on September 22, but will now have to tune in to the awards ceremony in her honor via livestream, said the German city on Tuesday.

Known in English for her novel "The City in Crimson Cloak," Erdogan is also a human rights activist, vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and columnist for the pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem.

Amidst Turkey's clamp down on the press and free speech, she was charged with propagating terror, spent four months in prison last year, and is slated to stand trial again in the fall.

Read more: Asli Erdogan: 'It's my country, too'

Erdogan had previously been given a travel band, which was officially rescinded in June. However, her lawyer said she nevertheless needs the permission of the Interior Ministry to travel abroad, and the authorities have not permitted her to leave the country for the September awards ceremony.

The prize jury was particularly impressed by Erdogan's recent essay collection on the impact of the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey.

The city of Osnabrück has handed out the Erich Maria Remarque Peace Prize, named for the author of the World War I classic "All Quiet on the Western Front," every two years since 1991. It goes to writers who demonstrate commitment to peace.

kbm/eg (AFP, epd)

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