Asli Erdogan

writer and human rights activist

Aslı Erdoğan, among the most important writers of contemporary Turkish literature, is a columnist and human rights activist. She is author of books, novels, novellas, collections of short stories and poetic prose as well as essays, translated into more than 20 languages, including English, French, German and Italian. She was chosen as one of “Fifty Writers of the Future” by the French magazine Lire and has received various prizes, including European Cultural Foundation Award, and (prizes/awards) named after Simone de Beauvoir, Eric Maria Remarque, and Vaclav Havel. Asli Erdoğan has an honorary PhD in literature from Jules Verne University and in July 2017 the French government awarded her the Légion d’Honneur.

On 16 August 2016, after the failed military coup in Turkey, Asli Erdoğan was arrested with 22 other journalists from the pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem on charges of "terrorist propaganda" and "membership of a terrorist organization”, the PKK and spent almost five months in prison. Four articles penned by Asli Erdoğan, tackling mostly the situation in southeastern districts that became a scene of military operations and curfews, were presented as grounds for the decision to arrest her. Asli Erdoğan has been also accused of “acting to destroy the unity of the state”, the accusation the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reserves for all those who dare to publicly criticize his work. On the web Asli Erdoğan and her family are constantly threatened, and any of her declarations becomes an excuse to attack her and spread falsehoods about her.

Asli Erdoğan is one of the protagonists of Terrorists, Zehra and the others the Italian documentary (produced by Creative Nomads) on Turkish government repression. On 13 January 2020, prosecutors requested that Erdogan be sentenced for up to nine years and four months in prison. On 14 February 2020 a Turkish court acquitted her on charges of membership of an armed terror organization, of disrupting the unity of the state and dropped charges of spreading terror propaganda. Asli Erdoğan lives in exile in Germany.

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