Turkey: Author faces renewed charges after acquittal in February

20 August 2020
Aslı Erdoğan
Image: Aslı Erdoğan at Frankfurt Book Fair 2017 / Taken from ActuaLitté


On 10 July, Turkish prosecutors have reopened the case of the award-winning Turkish author Aslı Erdoğan, despite her acquittal in mid-February. The author faces charges of alleged “membership of a terrorist organisation and undermining national unity for her work with Özgür Gündem, a pro-Kurdish newspaper that the Turkish government shuttered in 2016”, reported the Ahval News.

According to PEN Deutschland, the official deadline for appealing against a court order is one week, however, the prosecutor is demanding that the case be reopened after four months. In the case of a guilty verdict, Erdoğan faces up to nine years in prison.

PEN America called for an end to the politically-motivated harassment of Erdoğan and condemned the unjust nature of the appeal.

“The Turkish judicial system has been degraded to the extended arm of a despot who clings to power by all means and mercilessly fights political opponents. The Turkish justice system has long since lost all credibility. The trial against Aslı Erdoğan must not be resumed,” said Ralf Nestmeyer, Vice President and Writers-in-Prison representative of PEN.

The author has been a scholarship holder since October 2019 in the Writers-in-Exile program of the German PEN.

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