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Four arti­cles by Aslı Erdoğan were used in the Turk­ish State’s indict­ment against her. Kedis­tan pub­lished them in sup­port for the cam­paign to obtain her freedom.

Writer Aslı Erdoğan was detained as of August 16 2016 in Istanbul’s Bakırköy prison while await­ing sen­tenc­ing. The charges called for life impris­on­ment. She was released on

The Eng­lish ver­sions you are read­ing are derived from trans­la­tions from Turk­ish to French done by Kedis­tan dur­ing the peri­od of her impris­on­ment. As such, they do not claim to be faith­ful ren­di­tions of Asli Erdogan’s orig­i­nals and are pro­vid­ed as a means for Eng­lish speak­ers to famil­iar­ize them­selves with the con­di­tions Aslı Erdoğan described…and how the texts were used against her by the Turk­ish government.

Arti­cle pub­lished on May 20 2016

The diary of fascism: today”

Anoth­er day with no begin­ning and no end…Like a com­ma placed at ran­dom between two long sen­tences, between the past and the future,   silent­ly wait­ing in the spot where it was put down. Two very long sen­tences, bor­ing and repetitious…That don’t say what hap­pened, what dis­a­peared with no pos­si­bil­i­ty of return, what will be lost once, then once again…That give no indi­ca­tion of what will nev­er happen…The past and the future….Two words caught in the nets you threw on the sur­face of the unknown called life and that you pulled out of the fog, the lim­its of which, the shores, and the waters are not vis­i­ble. That res­onate in the void, that let loose gales of infi­nite laugh­ter when you hold them to your ear…Your chilled and silent“past”, your only past that you tore up with your bare hands from the light­less depths of the rocks; and yet that flows between your frozen fin­ger before reach­ing the top…But just over there, on the oth­er shore, like an army whose bay­o­nettes gleam in the sun­shine, ready to bear down on you inex­orably, “the future”…And flow­ing just inside, as if brewed up from an irrepara­ble crevasse, the days, today. Life like a wound the pain of which is appar­ent when it cools or, per­haps, the clear absence of life, which makes its exis­tence felt alone, with pain.

The days of mas­sacres… Cru­el­ty, tears and blood.  The words that define col­ors, the shad­ows, the light of our dai­ly life short­en­ing the hori­zon on real­i­ty, are noth­ing more than “themes”, obso­lete steps, epics, great tales that no one reads unless oblig­ed to, or on the con­trary, the sub­jects of short sto­ries read, lis­tened to a thou­sand times, fol­lowed constantly…As if we still had a lot of words to say, but had no voice any­more. As if that voice sound­ed in empti­ness when we wish to speak, to give mean­ing, did not belong to us any­more, as if this silence that has replaced true cries that we could howl, did not belong to us any more…Our hand­shakes are limper, short­er, we quick­ly pull togeth­er the usu­al phras­es, we hand them over more quick­ly from one to the other…Each time we meet, we repeat with all our might that “we are liv­ing through such bad days”, we repeat this and con­sole each oth­er.  Our cries ” we exist, we are here”, res­onate longer, res­onate and remain with­out answer. Like pup­pets with fresh­ened make­up, we turn our most resis­tant faces toward one anoth­er, as if no one could look into our eyes…The looks are with­out curios­i­ty, with­out ques­tions, with­out answers, they slide else­where, far away, with the tired­ness of those who know what they will see…The mir­rors are more desert­ed than usu­al, soulless…Empty dead eyes, cold and emp­ty words, cold and dead hearts…As if we were send­ing back to the past, our own past,  botched copies of ourselves,

As for those of our fea­tures we offer to the future, they can in no way take shape, as if one absence of shape was exchanged against another…We cross these days slow­ly as if walk­ing on tip­toe in a hos­pi­tal corridor…As if, in an end­less grey pur­ga­to­ry dawn, in a space that stretch­es out like a thin tongue in the fog, in a space where cries and calls can no longer reach us, we were walk­ing, we were walking.

The unbear­able weight of liv­ing and writ­ing in these days where peo­ple – some of them wound­ed, oth­ers still chil­dren – encir­cled in cel­lars, are burned alive…The ter­ri­ble weight of silence that words must bear, words as sub­sti­tutes for life…This cliff is there and here, in the past, in the future, in the present…Even if we turn away our eyes, it does not let us go with its eyes of a unique depth. It silent­ly looks at our tales, at sen­tences that have lost their sub­ject, at all the unfin­ished sto­ries, it looks on with the eter­nal silence of all lives, it waits, in a fog­gy infin­i­ty, it walks between us.

Lat­er, when we will turn back for a look at today, per­haps we will say: “In fact, we rather liked fas­cism”, seal­ing off the deep wound of the pup­pet with fresh paints…

To reach the four arti­cles and more, click on this file

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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