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The Words Behind Bars

It was an obvious decision to devote this PEN/Opp to Turkey. Since July 2016 we have seen a steady stream of writers...

Text: Elisabeth Åsbrink September 21 2017

Milkman or the police

I have been a journalist for 37 years. This is the hardest period of my professional career. I was a journalist under...

Text: Can Dündar September 21 2017

The Same Silence as Before

In Turkey on September 9 Ahmed Altan, writer, journalist and former chief editor, was detained along with his brother. In an interview by Alev Yaman made just before Altan’s detention Altan claims...

Text: Alev Yaman September 17 2016

The Truth the Flag Conceals

For his journalistic achievements Can Dündar has recently been awarded the Swedish National Press Club’s Freedom of Speech Award in memory of Anna Politkovskaya. After having been prosecuted for his...

Text: Can Dündar September 17 2016

A prisoner’s freedom, a society’s captivity

Writer and human rights lawyer Muharrem Erbey served almost four years in a Turkish prison without trial. Once released, he saw the world with new eyes – and noted how the limits of freedom of speech...

Text: Muharrem Erbey October 13 2015

The battle over Turkey’s internet

The passing of law 5651 in Turkey has made it possible for the Turkish government to block access to web pages that contain ‘undesirable’ material. This is part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğans...

Text: Alev Yaman July 08 2015

“Digitocide”: the new way to silence the masses

Twitter and YouTube were recently closed down in Turkey. Platforms for citizen journalism and websites of non-governmental organisations have fallen victim to the Turkish government’s attempts to shut...

Text: Gürkan Özturan May 06 2014

Father died in front of the forbidden tv channel

“Roj TV” has often been accused of being the mouthpiece of the Kurdish armed movement, PKK. The programs are broadcast in Kurdish from Denmark and Belgium and the Turkish government has repeatedly...

Text: Yavuz Ekinci January 08 2013

Forbidden chirping

“Humor is the foremost weapon of the weak,” said Turkish author Aziz Nesin. In this short play, the artist and poet Yeşim Ağaoğlu uses humor to show what is unrolling in her native country. Ağaoğlu...

TEXT: Yeşim Ağaoğlu January 08 2013

Writing letters on water

Trials without end, shady evidence, and fabricated documents are a reality in today’s Turkish judicial system. Translator Petek Demir was tired of seeing his writer and journalist colleagues...

Text: Petek Demir January 08 2013

A bomb of a book, a Molotov cocktail of a news story

Journalist İrfan Aktan knows how to avoid time in prison: through self-censorship. More than a hundred journalists are presently being held in Turkey for either their own news reports or the political...

Text: İrfan Aktan January 08 2013

Kamber Ates, how are you?

Gülsum Cengiz is one of the most acclaimed poets in Turkey. She wrote this poem during the 90s when Kurdish was a forbidden language in the prisons. In order to talk to her imprisoned son, a Kurdish...

Text: Gülsüm Cengiz January 08 2013

Language is your innermost line of defense

The right to use the Kurdish language has been one of the major issues of controversy in Turkey during the republic’s entire existence. In recent years, the situation has been dedramatized and it is...

Text: Ayhan Geverî January 08 2013

Turkey passes Iran and China

Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) is a New York-based, independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide. Here we present their recent report about Turkey.

Text: Committee to Protect Journalists January 08 2013