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Theme: Turkey


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

Emel Gülcan: “Elimination through detention”

In the late 90s, several Turkish media outlets decided to build a common network, “Bianet,” to help each other meet the numerous threats facing the freedom of speech at the time. The 1990s were a dark...

Text: Emel Gülcan January 08 2013

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