Asli Erdogan

writer and human rights activist

Asli Erdoğan is among the most important writers of contemporary Turkish literature. A columnist and a 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 among others. She was chosen as one of Fifty Writers of the Future by the French magazine Lire and has received various prizes, including the European Cultural Foundation Award, Simone de Beauvoir, Eric Maria Remarque and Vaclav Havel. Asli 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 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. She spent almost five months in prison. Four of her articles, dealing mostly with the situation in southeastern districts that became a scene of military operations and curfews, were presented as grounds for the decision. She 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. She risks a life sentence.

On the web Asli and her family are constantly threatened, any of her declarations becomes an excuse to attack her and spread falsehoods about her. Asli is one of the protagonists of Terrorists, Zehra and the others, the Italian documentary (produced by Creative Nomads) on the repression of the Turkish government.

She lives in exile in Germany and is currently under trial by the Turkish government for terrorism charges.

read more

Events IJF 2020