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Film director and daughter of a guerrilla leader

The author is viewed as one of Turkey’s most exciting young filmmakers. In the below, she describes her encounter with the limits of freedom of speech and what happened when she wanted to make a movie...

Text: Anonymous January 08 2013

John Ralston Saul: “It must end”

PEN International has directed its spotlight on the situation in Turkey, which has been afflicted with serious throwbacks in the field of freedom of speech. Reforms aimed at opening up the society...

Text: John Ralston Saul January 08 2013

Democracy in disguise

Turkey has recently carried out several reforms rendering the country more democratic. At the same time, the same government imprisons increasing numbers of writers and opponents of the regime. How...

Text: Muhsin Kızılkaya January 08 2013

Numbers, people

Aslı Erdoğan is one of the foremost writers in Turkey, who never shies away from sensitive topics. She has suffered harassment for her work and has been forced to live in exile. Despite this, she has...

Text: Aslı Erdoğan September 27 2012

Turkey's freedom of speech is crumbling

The writer and publisher Ragip Zarkolu is an honorary member of Swedish PEN. He has over the years published numerous books on subjects that are sensitive in the modern Turkey. Until last week, he was...

Text: Raqip Zarakolu April 17 2012

How’s Your Slavery Goin’?

Secularism and the role of religion have always been charged subjects in Turkey—perhaps more today than ever before. Tarik Günersel, playwright and President of Turkish PEN gives us his views on...

Text: Tarik Günersel April 17 2012

Letter from a cell

The Kurdish author, lawyer and human rights activist Muharrem Erbey was jailed in December 2009 and has since then been hidden and placed in the notorious prison of Diyarbakir. He is among other...

Text: Muharrem Erbey September 22 2011

A letter to Ahmet

What is happening to freedom of speech in Turkey today? This is a question that the writer Çiğdem Mater raises in this letter to her friend and colleague, Ahmet Sik, who was arrested on March 3. She...

Text: Çiğdem Mater July 07 2011