For Ahmet Altan – in a Turkish prison
Ahmet Hüsrev Altan, the Turkish writer and journalist, was rearrested on 12 November, 2019, just a week after his release from prison over alleged links to the failed 2016 coup. He had earlier been serving an aggravated life sentence in prison for the bizarre charges of “sending subliminal messages to coup conspirators” (via a TV interview) on the eve of the July 2016 failed coup in Turkey.
“Wounds are so deep and painful in these countries that in order to clean those wounds you have to use your pen like a scalpel. We are forced to go outside literature and write directly political pieces. Writing becomes engulfed by politics.” (Ahmet Altan, Times Literary Supplement)
Ahmet Altan released his memoir of his arrest and detention in March 2019: I Will Never See the World Again. In reality, his arrest at dawn, like that of his own father 45 years previously, is a result of his courageous criticism of the now-oppressive Erdoğan-AKP regime in Turkey as well his outspoken defense of the rights of Kurds, Armenians and ‘Free Speech’.