#23 2017

Milkman or the police

>> Churchill defines democracy as the regime that ‘when there’s a knock on the door at 3 am, it’s probably the milkman.’ In Turkey we know that it’s probably the police. <<

Resistance under a regime of rancor

>>The most valuable resistance of the Witness lies in his collection of pure fact.<<

Today girls are born into a more backward life standard than their mothers

>> During the last decade, religious conservatism found a large area to grow and have pushed regulations, trying to discipline women into a domestic sphere. <<

When President Erdoğan was officially accused of genocide.

>>Erdoğan is suspected of committing serious crimes, he may be responsible for massacres. He is accused of ordering the killing of civilians and people because of their membership in the Kurdish Workers’ Party. <


>>Some of those outside are within the country. In a sense, they are “inside” too. Their houses could be raided any moment, they or their families could be detained, their passports could be confiscated.<<

A slaughterhouse for the law

>> I am not threatening Erdoğan, I am warning him. I tell him not to wish for civil war. I am saying the same thing today. Civil war is terrifying. Is it a crime to say this?<<

What frightens tyrants the most is courage

>>This statement is neither a defense nor a deposition. On the contrary, it is an accusation.<<

Freedom or sunshine

>> I removed the foil paper from the box of Akhtamar cigarettes that I had in my pocket and started writing my will on the scuffed paper. I was handcuffed and trembling with fear. <<

Action for truth

>> Nadire Mater, writer and journalist, one of the most important persons in the struggle for freedom of speech and human rights in Turkey, portrayed by Stefan Lindberg. <<


The Words Behind Bars

It was an obvious decision to devote this Dissident Blog to Turkey. Since July 2016 we have seen a steady stream of writers, publishers and journalists, as well as teachers, academics and others opposing the government, being arrested on unclear and false grounds and put in prison. The dismantling of free expression and free press is shocking, both to its extent and concerning the speed of events. The failed coup in 2016, in which more than 200 people lost their lives, gave president Erdoğan a pretext for declaring a state of emergency and thereby obtaining the authority to weed out remaining dissidents.
Swedish PEN is proud to publish texts of some who are at the focal point of persecution: poets, writers, journalists, people whose thoughts, words and experiences the Turkish state is actively trying to silence.
Here is a magnificent text on resistance by the writer Sema Kaygusuz.
Here is Ahmet Şık’s speech in court - the investigative journalist who wrote an sharp, critical book on the Gulen movement and now is accused of supporting it.
Here is publicist Can Dϋndar’s disillusioned analysis of Turkey, written from his exile in Berlin.
Here is lawyer Nazan Moroğlu’s account for how the legal position of women has deteriorated under Erdoğan’s government.
Here is the writer Tuba Ҁandar’s presentation of the Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, as well as her experience of the conditions of exile. 
The artist Pinar Öğrenci testifies to what happened to her when she marched for peace, and the writer and journalist, Ahmet Altan, describes a legal system so perverted that Kafka would have laughed in tears.