Urġenti: Aslı Erdoğan – Akkużata mill-Ġdid / Facing New Charges

Il-kittieba Torka reġgħet ġiet akkużata b’rabta max-xogħol ġurnalistiku tagħha u, b’sentenza li se tinqata’ fl-14 ta’ Frar 2020, tista’ teħel iktar minn disa’ snin ħabs. Aqra l-artiklu u ħu azzjoni issa (dettalji lejn l-aħħar tal-artiklu).

The Turkish author is facing new charges in relation to her work as a journalist. Her next hearing is set for 14 February 2020, during which she might be sentenced to more than nine years in prison. Read the article and do something now (details at the end).

Aslı Erdoğan
Aslı Erdoğan

English version below.

Ippersegwitata mill-gvern Tork

Aslı Erdoğan hi kittieba Torka, xjenzata, ġurnalista, ħassieba, u rebbieħa ta’ għadd ta’ premjijiet. Kitbet xogħlijiet importani, iżda jekk tfittex isimha fuq l-internet, l-ikbar ammont ta’ artikli li se ssib mhux se jkun fuq kritika letterarja iżda dwar il-persekuzzjoni tagħha min-naħa tal-gvern tat-Turkija. Minħabba li kienet fuq il-bord konsultattiv tal-gazzetta Özgür Gündem (Bla Aġenda) li kienet ixxaqleb lejn il-Kurdi, wara l-attentat ta’ kolp ta’ stat ta’ Lulju tal-2016, Erdoğan ġiet arrestata u mixlija b’parteċipazzjoni f’organizzazzjoni terroristika — akkuża li ġġib magħha sentenza ta’ għomor il-ħabs mingħajr tama ta’ ħelsien. Wara pressjoni kbira internazzjonali, inħelset mill-arrest preventiv f’Diċembru tal-istess sena. Ħarġet bi problemi kbar tas-saħħa minħabba t-trattament ħażin fil-ħabs, u fl-2017 ħarbet lejn il-Ġermanja fejn għadha tgħix fl-eżilju. Fit-13 ta’ Jannar 2020, Erdoğan reġgħet ġiet akkużata li “xandret propaganda favur organizzazzjoni terroristika” fil-mezzi medjatiċi. Is-sentenza se tinqata’ fl-14 ta’ Frar 2020; jekk tinstab ħatja, Erdoğan tista’ tintbagħat il-ħabs għal disa’ snin u erba’ xhur.

Fuq livell uman ma tridx wisq biex tintebaħ kemm ġrajjet Erdoğan hi waħda kerha. Tista’ tħoss li, minħabba li ilhom joħorġu stejjer mit-Turkija fuq il-persekuzzjonijiet ta’ ġurnalisti u kittieba, li m’hemmx tama. Li sakemm iddum il-ħakma tal-president, li b’kumbinazzjoni kiefra jġib l-istess kunjom, diffiċli jkun hemm tmiem għat-tbatija psikoloġika li għaddejja minnha Erdoğan. U appuntu, minħabba f’hekk, u minħabba t-tant aħbarijiet tad-dwejjaq li jaslulna kuljum, minn kull naħa tad-dinja, forsi eħfef taqta’ qalbek, forsi aħjar iddawwar wiċċek u tinsa. Wara kollox, din Aslı Erdoğan min hi? It-Turkija ‘l bogħod, il-Ġermanja wkoll, u aħna, allura, x’naħtu?

L-Aslı li nafu

Jekk fittixtha, żgur li telgħetlek xi nota bijografika. Għandna waħda fuq dan is-sit ukoll. Minnhom se titgħallem dwar x’għamlet Aslı Erdoğan, imma forsi xorta tibqa’ ma taqbadx l-essenzjal.

Fl-2018 kellna x-xorti li nsiru nafuha ftit, lil Aslı, u allura, għalina, minkejja li ilna ma narawha, xorta nħossuha qrib. Meta naqraw minn xiex għaddejja, u x’għad hemm imdendel għaliha, ma nistgħux nibqgħu indifferenti, għax issa din is-sitwazzjoni tinvolvi lil persuna li mxejna magħha, li kilna magħha.

Aslı kienet mistiedna għall-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta, fejn kienet intervistata minn Nadia Mifsud. Tat intervista wkoll lill-istazzjon nazzjonali. Minn fuq il-palk ħarġet ħafna mill-isfumaturi tagħha. Mill-ħafna intervisti li tat, kien mument kemxejn rari fejn ħassitha komda, anke minħabba l-ħbiberija li nibtet ma’ Nadia, u tkellmet b’mod miftuħ. Mara b’pinna deċiża, minkejja li tilfet saħħitha sforz kemm batiet. Mara li ma tilfitx it-tbissima, minkejja li għandha kull jedd tirrabja minħabba dak li sofriet. Forsi minn hemm ġej l-għadab tar-reġim Tork, għax minkejja dak li għamlu hi baqgħet għaddejja. Imma issa qed nitkellmu wkoll fuq ħabiba, fuq l-Aslı li staqsiet kif tinħass il-‘ġ’ li rat fuq tabella mat-triq, li riedet tgħum fil-baħar tagħna, li qaltilna li Malta kien l-isem li taw lil kuritur fil-ħabs fejn kienu jgawdu ftit mumenti ta’ libertà. U daqs kemm hu veru li anki jekk jitfgħuha l-ħabs, xorta mhux se jkunu rebħu fuq l-ideali u l-ideat tagħha, xorta se jkun hemm hi, bniedma bħalek u bħalna, tbati l-uġigħ.

Semma’ leħnek

L-għadab tan-nies minn madwar id-dinja ħadem darba u nittamaw li jerġa’ jaħdem. Semma’ leħnek. Forsi m’intix tal-ġenerazzjoni li temmen bil-mezzi soċjali, imma dawn huma wkoll l-għodda tal-lum. Ikteb imqar ftit versi fuqha, u qassamhom, flimkien ma’ ritratt tagħha, fuq Facebook u Twitter bil-hashtag #FreeTurkeyMedia (qed nimxu mas-sejħa li ħarġet biha l-għaqda tal-kittieba Pen International). Ipprotesta mal-Ambaxxata tat-Turkija f’Malta (embassy.valletta@mfa.gov.tr), u anke direttament mal-uffiċċju tal-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (contact@tccb.gov.tr).

Ikteb ukoll lill-Ministeru tal-Affarijiet (foreignaffairs@gov.mt), u lill-Membri Maltin tal-Parlament Ewropew biex huma wkoll jagħmlu pressjoni fuq il-gvern tat-Turkija.

Minkejja d-diffikultajiet kollha, nittamaw li għad nisimgħu li Aslı Erdoğan u sħabha ingħataw il-ħelsien, li twaqqgħu l-akkużi kollha kontrihom. Sa dakinhar, dawn il-kliem, min-novella The Stone Building, miktuba Aslı, tradotta minn Sevinç Türkkan u mitbugħa minn City Lights, jimlew ftit il-vojt tal-istennija:

We all saw the angel. At different times, in different places, on windy rooftops, in empty rooms, in corridors where no one walked… At a top floor window, calling out to the passing stars… Among the stones, having rejected his name, his fate, the ability to fly, waiting naked, helpless, ordinary… Alone, circling the abyss with his damaged smile, at the threshold of eternity… We saw him at daybreak, in the blood-red, fiery dawn hours, in a pure gold-colored light, in the sharp fluorescent light, in the raw light of a naked bulb, in impenetrable darkness… He flickered between being and not being, between the seen and the unseen, fading in and out. Some noticed only his uncombed, lion’s mane of hair, some only his eyes shining like stars in his hollow face. None of us could look at him for long. Perhaps what we saw was a dancing shaft of light, or we just experienced him as a spring breeze, full of life and heavy with the scents of the red buds. That much was enough for us. The sound of a wing fluttering, a tiny little song, a memory flowering on its own, a few drops of rain. He had heard us and descended at once from the heavens, his hands and arms, his pockets full of letters, good tidings, promises, melodies… He had come bearing raindrops, rushing rivers, the surging waves of the open seas, far-off places… To some he had returned their childhood, to others he sounded the irresistible call of eternity… To some he had brought the smell of pine trees, to others the rustle of leaves… Some said he smelled like a wild animal, like wild roses, virgin forests, or the storm-battered sea, but above all he smelled human. He embraced each one of us, calmed us with the gentlest touch of his deft wings, with just a few tears. We could not have dreamed this up ourselves, because we had exhausted our dreams long ago. Had we come together — but we never did — we could have gathered his disparate images, here is yours, here is mine, and turned him into flesh and blood. We could have completed his interrupted story by adding sentences of our own, and we could have saved him. And then maybe we couldn’t have. He was our lost one, lost forever, everything we had already lost and all that we would still yet lose.

Copyright © 2018 by Aslı Erdoğan.
Translation copyright © 2018 by Sevinç Türkkan.

Aqra iktar

Artikli bid-dettalji tal-każ:

Is-sitwazzjoni kif kienet sal-aħħar akkużi:

Il-filmat tal-intervista waqt il-Festival Mediterranju tal-Letteratura ta’ Malta 2018:


Aslı Erdoğan facing new charges

Persecuted by the Turkish government

Aslı Erdoğan is a Turkish author, scientist, journalist, thinker, and the winner of a number of awards. She has written several key works but, if you had to search her name on the internet, the vast majority of results would not be analyses of her books and articles, but pages upon pages on her

persecution at the hands of the Turkish government. After the July 2016 military coup attempt, and due to her work on the advisory board of the Özgür Gündem (Free Agenda) newspaper, which reported extensively on conflict between Turkey and the Kurds, Erdoğan was arrested and accused of having formed part of a terrorist organisation — a charge punishable with an aggravated life sentence (which has no possibility of parole). Following intense international pressure, Erdoğan was released from custody in December of the same year, albeit with serious health issues as a direct result of her treatment in prison. In 2017 she left for Germany where she has since lived in exile. On 13 January 2020, during the latest hearing of the Özgür Gündem trial, Erdoğan was accused of “propagandising for a terrorist organisation”. Sentencing is set for 14 February 2020, and if found guilty, Erdoğan could face nine years and four months in jail.

It does not take much to see that Erdoğan has been treated inhumanely. You may feel that, considering the many stories on the oppression of the journalists and writers by the Turkish state, there is not much to hope for. That for as long as Turkey is ruled by the current president (whose surname, in a cruel twist of fate, is also Erdoğan) her psychological suffering will see no end. And so, in consideration of all this, and swamped, as we are, with terrible news hitting us daily and from every corner, perhaps it would be easier to simply give up, to try and forget. After all, who is Aslı Erdoğan? Turkey and Germany are far away, beyond the sea and mountains, and we are not to blame for what she is going through.

Our friend, Aslı

If you did look her up earlier, you would have probably come across a few biographical notes. There is one on this site as well. Such articles do shed light on Aslı Erdoğan’s achievements, but they might not delve deep beneath the surface.

In 2018 we were lucky enough to get to know Aslı to an extent and, although it has been a while, we still feel close to her. Whenever we read reports on what she is going through, on what lies ahead, we find it hard to look the other way, because the news now concerns someone with whom we have walked abreast, with whom we have shared meals.

Aslı was one of the authors invited to the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival, where she was interviewed by Nadia Mifsud. She was also interviewed by Television Malta. Her talk with Nadia was more open than usual. The friendship born between the two helped Aslı share her many nuances. An assertive writing voice, despite a constitution weakened by suffering. A disarming smile, even though she has much to be angry for. Perhaps, that is why the Turkish regime is so adamantly set against her, because no matter how doggedly they have pursued and hindered her, she has persisted.  However, beyond triumphant notions of a defiant artist, there is the flesh-and-blood friend; the Aslı who had asked us about the sound of Maltese letters on street signs, who wanted to swim in our sea, who told us that Malta was the name the prisoners had given to a little corridor where they could enjoy a few moments of respite. And while it is true that, should she be imprisoned again, the government would not have vanquished her thoughts and ideals, she, the human Aslı, would still be suffering behind bars.

Speak up

The anger of many, from all over the world, had proven useful once, and we hope it will do so yetagain. Please show it; use your voice. You may not be partial to social media, but these are today’s tools. Write something short about her and share it, along with her photo, on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #FreeTurkeyMedia (we are adhering to the call made by Pen International). Protest directly with the Turkish Embassy in Malta (embassy.valletta@mfa.gov.tr), and also with the office of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (contact@tccb.gov.tr).

Write to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (foreignaffairs@gov.mt), and to Maltese MEPs so that they too will exert pressure on the Turkish government.

Although the odds are stacked high, we still hope to hear that Aslı Erdoğan and her colleagues have been freed of all charges. Until then, these words, from the novella The Stone Building, written by Aslı, translated by Sevinç Türkkan, and published by City Lights will help fill the anxious emptiness that we feel:

We all saw the angel. At different times, in different places, on windy rooftops, in empty rooms, in corridors where no one walked… At a top floor window, calling out to the passing stars… Among the stones, having rejected his name, his fate, the ability to fly, waiting naked, helpless, ordinary… Alone, circling the abyss with his damaged smile, at the threshold of eternity… We saw him at daybreak, in the blood-red, fiery dawn hours, in a pure gold-colored light, in the sharp fluorescent light, in the raw light of a naked bulb, in impenetrable darkness… He flickered between being and not being, between the seen and the unseen, fading in and out. Some noticed only his uncombed, lion’s mane of hair, some only his eyes shining like stars in his hollow face. None of us could look at him for long. Perhaps what we saw was a dancing shaft of light, or we just experienced him as a spring breeze, full of life and heavy with the scents of the red buds. That much was enough for us. The sound of a wing fluttering, a tiny little song, a memory flowering on its own, a few drops of rain. He had heard us and descended at once from the heavens, his hands and arms, his pockets full of letters, good tidings, promises, melodies… He had come bearing raindrops, rushing rivers, the surging waves of the open seas, far-off places… To some he had returned their childhood, to others he sounded the irresistible call of eternity… To some he had brought the smell of pine trees, to others the rustle of leaves… Some said he smelled like a wild animal, like wild roses, virgin forests, or the storm-battered sea, but above all he smelled human. He embraced each one of us, calmed us with the gentlest touch of his deft wings, with just a few tears. We could not have dreamed this up ourselves, because we had exhausted our dreams long ago. Had we come together — but we never did — we could have gathered his disparate images, here is yours, here is mine, and turned him into flesh and blood. We could have completed his interrupted story by adding sentences of our own, and we could have saved him. And then maybe we couldn’t have. He was our lost one, lost forever, everything we had already lost and all that we would still yet lose.

Copyright © 2018 by Aslı Erdoğan.
Translation copyright © 2018 by Sevinç Türkkan.

Read more

Articles with details on the case:

Articles on how things stood until the latest charges:

The interview with Aslı Erdoğan from the 2018 edition of the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival: