In this endless trial surrounding the now-prohibited newspaper Özgür Gündem, the verdict concerning Aslı Erdoğan may be rendered on February 14, Valentine’s Day, as she mentions ironically in the letter she sent to those who have supported her since 2016.

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Kedistan was among them, we can thus refer you back to the special dossier containing all the judiciary twists and turns in this grotesque trial and jailing of Aslı, as well as the events that followed.

Thus, a few days ago, Aslı Erdoğan launched an appeal. We consider it important to respond to it as widely as possible and to alert anew those who had mobilized for her liberation. This had given rise to publications which, we hope, will find their extension in relays of these collective signatures, creating a renewed visibility for the authorities in Turkey, showing them that the regime’s hostages are not forgotten.

Here is the communique of collective support and its first signatories, relayed these days by several French media:

In Solidarity with Aslı Erdoğan!

We stand by the side of Aslı Erdoğan and of her co-accused journalists and human rights defendors prosecuted in Turkey, in order to defend their lives, freedom of expression and democratic rights.

In 2016, on all five continents, artists, authors, intellectuals, defendors of human rights, associations, publishers mobilized to demand the liberation of novelist Aslı Erdoğan jailed in Turkey on August 16 for writing four articles in the newspaper Özgür Gündem. Thanks to the mobilization, this great democratic figure in her country was released from jail on December 29 2016.

But while she is now in exile, the trial against her continues and is going through a sudden acceleration. Aslı Erdoğan was initially accused of “attempt at destroying State unity”, “belonging to a terrorist organization” and of “terrorist propaganda”, accusations liable to a sentence of life imprisonment.

A months ago, the prosecutor dropped the first two accusations, maintaining the one of “terrorist propaganda”. He called for a prison sentence of up ro 9 years. With sentences of up to 15 years imprisonment for the newspaper’s editor in chief and Eren Keskin, President of the Human Rights Association.

It was announced suddenly that the next hearing will be held on February 14 2020.

As a reminder, the four articles incriminating Aslı Erdoğan were published in 2016 in a legal newspaper, Özgür Gündem, prohibited since but that was not prosecuted over them at the time of their publication. These same articles have been published in several languages by over twelve publishing houses and on a number of platforms, and have been read in public readings. Are all of us accomplices of “terrorist propaganda”?

“Turkey has launched a total war against Human Rights, literature and even worse, against CONSCIENCE” Aslı Erdoğan has just written us, launching a call to solidarity.

We, the undersigned, call on the condemnation of every possible form of these direct and unacceptable attacks on freedom of expression and democratic rights.

We call for solidarity with Aslı Erdoğan and the co-accused in this trial and beyond, with all the courageous women particularly threatened these days, along with all those in Turkey who continue expressing themselves at the risk of losing their freedom.

This appeal is launched at the initiative of the Alliance des Femmes pour la Démocratie (Women’s Alliance for Democracy) the publishing house Éditions des femmes-Antoinette Fouque and the editors of Kedistan.

You can sign the petition by clicking here.

First signatories:

ActuaLitté (la rédaction), Laure Adler (journaliste), Joseph Andras (écrivain), Igor Babou (universitaire), Ella Balaert (écrivaine), Sophie Bassouls (photographe), Anne Emmanuelle Berger (universitaire), Gérard Biard (journaliste), Dominique Blanc (comédienne), Joyce Blau (Professeur émérite), Izabella Borges (universitaire, traductrice), Paule du Bouchet (écrivaine, éditrice), Sophie Bourel (comédienne), Sonia Bressler (philosophe, présidente de l’AFFDU), Carmen Castillo (cinéaste), Chantal Chawaf (écrivaine), Hélène Cixous (écrivaine), Etienne Copeaux (historien), Marie Darrieussecq (écrivaine), Zehra Doğan (artiste, écrivaine), Alicia Dujovne Ortiz (écrivaine), Annie Ernaux (écrivaine), mouvement FEMEN, Dominique Grange (chanteuse engagée), Sterenn Guirriec (comédienne, metteuse en scène), Bülent Gündüz (cinéaste), H/F Île de France, Hijos Paris, Francesca Isidori (journaliste, directrice artistique), Sylvie Jan (France-Kurdistan), Emmanuel Lascoux (helléniste), Philippe Le Duc (artiste scénographe), Joëlle Le Marec (universitaire), Nathalie Léger-Cresson (écrivaine), Lio (chanteuse, actrice), Catherine Malard (le dire et l’écrire), Carole Mann (sociologue, Women in war), Valérie Manteau (écrivaine), Claire Mauss-Copeaux (historienne), Mengue M’Eyaà (présidente Mouvement civique des femmes du Gabon), Jacqueline Merville (écrivaine, artiste), Daniel Mesguich (acteur, metteur en scène), Ümit Metin (l’ACORT), Anna Mouglalis (actrice), Kendal Nezan (Président de l’Institut kurde de Paris), Cécile Oumhani (écrivaine), Denis Péan de Lo’jo (musicien), PEN club français, Emmanuel Pierrat (avocat, écrivain), Titi Robin (musicien), Agnès Rosenstiehl (écrivaine, illustratrice), Tony Rublon (amitiés kurdes de Bretagne), Fabienne Servan Schreiber (productrice de films), Tardi (auteur, dessinateur), Marina Vlady (actrice), Catherine Weinzaepflen (écrivaine), Laurence Zordan (philosophe, écrivaine).

Translation by Renée Lucie Bourges
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