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July 2018 and yet anoth­er ordi­nary day at Tar­sus; an over­crowd­ed block, extreme heat and exces­sive circulation.

It had already been quite a while since I had land­ed in this prison and ever since my arrest in April 2016 I had reg­u­lar­ly request­ed my trans­fer to Istan­bul, close to my fam­i­ly and my home. In vain. My requests were con­stant­ly turned down by the Prison and Deten­tion Cen­ters Gen­er­al Direc­torate. Why, but why did they not like me? I had just writ­ten a new request, request­ing a meet­ing with the prison pros­e­cu­tor on this top­ic so that I would speak with him when he vis­it­ed the estab­lish­ment again.

In short, such was the sit­u­a­tion and this was an ordi­nary day in my cell­block. A group of women was removed from the block and tak­en to the infir­mary, one lev­el above. Pris­on­ers from one or two oth­er blocks were there already. We sat and began the wait­ing game… and, sud­den­ly, the day’s banal­i­ty disappeared!

A was approached by a woman who had recent­ly been down­grad­ed after work­ing as a supe­ri­or civ­il ser­vant since my arrival at Tar­sus, but one who had nev­er been asso­ci­at­ed with any cas­es of aggres­sion or tor­ture. She want­ed to talk to me. Of course, I was very sur­prised and, think­ing we would speak there and then, I said “all right, let’s talk.” She invit­ed me into a room fac­ing the infir­mary where sick pris­on­ers were tak­en and placed under per­fu­sion. I fol­lowed filled with curios­i­ty. Thus began a peri­od that land­ed like a bomb on my prison life that was already event­ful enough.

Allegations of a civil servant against the director

This is my sum­ma­ry of what the civ­il ser­vant told me.

She had been down­grad­ed along with anoth­er civ­il civ­il ser­vant. Their prob­lems were relat­ed to the direc­tor of the estab­lish­ment. After call­ing a meet­ing, he had cre­at­ed an “A team” out of those female civ­il ser­vants who behaved poor­ly with the pris­on­ers.  Five of the women thus select­ed occu­pied upper ech­e­lons, while these oth­er two civ­il ser­vants, despite bill n° 675 and their senior­i­ty, were down­grad­ed and placed under their com­mand. More­over, and as if by acci­dent, it must be said that the civ­il ser­vants who were upgrad­ed were young and beau­ti­ful. But I return to our top­ic. The “A team” on orders from the direc­tor, had pre­pared lists for each block of rebel­lious pris­on­ers who caused prob­lems with the direc­torate. Of course, my name fig­ured promi­nent­ly on the list from our block. So why were these lists pre­pared? Should some dis­or­der occur, the per­sons list­ed were to be removed from the blocks and placed into iso­la­tion cells or in the “foam room” to be per­se­cut­ed there, in order to break their spir­it. The civ­il ser­vant also told me, in detail, how recent­ly a “prob­lem­at­ic” woman had been removed from her block, trans­ferred to the foam room and beat­en to death by a supe­ri­or from the A team; the fact that the one doing the beat­ing had not even lis­tened when her col­leagues had said “stop, that’s enough”; that the pris­on­er had then been hasti­ly trans­ferred to the Şakran women’s prison in Izmir where, hav­ing no vis­i­tors nor kin, the inci­dent ha been hushed up…

Yes, I admit sniff­ing the oncom­ing of fun­ny busi­ness, I even thought to myself “what if I didn’t get involved in this” — as my moth­er liked to say all the time — but giv­en my pro­fes­sion­al defor­ma­tion, and the fact curios­i­ty kills cats, how could you expect me to stay away? Ques­tion after ques­tion, I sought out all the details con­cern­ing these alle­ga­tions. Grant­ed they were alle­ga­tions only, but in need of inves­ti­ga­tion, and know­ing myself, I was not about to drop the matter.

Apart from this, I was pro­vid­ed details I do not wish to write down here. Alle­ga­tions of a mali­cious nature, involv­ing the rela­tion­ship between the direc­tor and one of the secu­ri­ty agents; infor­ma­tion about the bars fre­quent­ed by the women at the end of their day of work, the tables set up with rakı… Per­son­al lives did not inter­est me but, if as the down­grad­ed civ­il ser­vant claimed, when she had asked her direc­tor “why am I being removed from my duties?” he had tru­ly answered “Well, you nev­er set up a table with rakı for me”, this was a seri­ous mat­ter. None of this matched up with the moral­is­tic vision those in pow­er claimed to main­tain and represent.

Final­ly, I lis­tened to every­thing I was told, delved into these ques­tions, iden­ti­fied the peo­ple men­tioned. Already, in this prison, giv­en the direc­tion, we were sub­ject­ed to a suf­fi­cient num­ber of vio­la­tions of our rights and oth­er dif­fi­cul­ties. This took the cake. One final ques­tion both­ered me, I asked the down­grad­ed civ­il ser­vant “why are you telling me all this ?” She answered: “because they are afraid of you, you write and every­thing comes out in the media. You can help us with the injus­tice we were sub­ject­ed to. We are afraid but you can write to the min­istry of jus­tice, at least, trans­mit the infor­ma­tion to the pros­e­cu­tor”. I told myself “good heav­ens, such a per­son­al­i­ty am I!” But frankly, big prob­lems were now at my door, they were even fac­ing me with a salute and a “here we are at last, we almost missed you!”

Of what use is a prosecutor?

I returned to the block under the ques­tion­ing eyes of my friends and I thought it over “must I take these alle­ga­tions seri­ous­ly?” I removed myself into the coolest and pre­ferred spot of our block with two women I trust­ed , told them every­thing and asked for their advice. One said to me “drop it, don’t get involved in this,” the oth­er was wor­ried for me. After long exchanges, I took the fol­low­ing deci­sion: I would relay these alle­ga­tions — as should be done — when I would meet the pros­e­cu­tor, thus his office could inves­ti­gate, or at least they should do so, yes? I told my deci­sion to my friends who approved, all that remained was to wait for the prosecutor’s visit.

At last, the pros­e­cu­tor came to the prison and had me called up. But what was this? In the room where we usu­al­ly met alone, sat the direc­tor of the estab­lish­ment. I calm­ly trans­mit­ted my request and explained I was being kept in pris­ons far from my fam­i­ly and home, and con­se­quent­ly that vis­its had been turned into real obsta­cle cours­es, that I had not seen my father for a year and a half because of his health prob­lems keep­ing him from long trips… Result? None, “write a request”. Well, I had already writ­ten a num­ber of them but they were all turned down..

But, in the end, we broached the thorny sub­ject… Before start­ing, I said I wished to speak alone with the pros­e­cu­tor and request­ed that the direc­tor of the estab­lish­ment leave the room. The direc­tor who already “loved me very much”, left the room his eyes filled with hatred under his frown­ing brows. (This direc­tor being the same one I talked about in my ear­li­er arti­cle, the one who threat­ened me so I would stop help­ing the Syr­i­an women). I trans­mit­ted all the alle­ga­tions from the civ­il ser­vants, as told to me, and asked that he inves­ti­gate. At first, he attempt­ed to drown the issue, accused the civ­il ser­vants despite the fact these were seri­ous alle­ga­tions by two down­grad­ed civ­il ser­vants, ful­ly deserv­ing inves­ti­ga­tion. Of course, I knew I would be asked “but why did they speak to you”, and when the ques­tion showed up as expect­ed I said I thought they were afraid and that I was sim­ply trans­mit­ting facts to the pros­e­cu­tor, as expressed to me. He took some notes. He under­stood, or so I thought. But I was wrong. The shit was on me well and true, it was even embrac­ing me. I was to under­stand this most painful­ly in the black days that followed.

The shit arrived saying “I’m coming!”

So, I recall this meet­ing tak­ing place on a Thurs­day. Sat­ur­days were the days for phone com­mu­ni­ca­tions in our block. When I say “com­mu­ni­ca­tions” you must not over­es­ti­mate the mat­ter, we’re talk­ing of a call lim­it­ed to 10 min­utes and sole­ly to mem­bers of the imme­di­ate fam­i­ly. On the fol­low­ing Mon­day we were allowed “open vis­its”, with­out cab­ins, once a month and for 45 minutes.

That Sat­ur­day on the phone, my moth­er told me that Melek Bengü Şahin, my inti­mate, my sis­ter, at the top of my mlist of vis­i­tors for all eter­ni­ty, would not be com­ing the fol­low­ing  Mon­day. All right. It was real­ly not easy to come from Istan­bul to Tar­sus. But was I alone in hear­ing of her future absence? Of course not! Those who lis­ten to the phone con­ver­sa­tions were aware of this infor­ma­tion. Why do I spec­i­fy this? So as to make the rest more read­i­ly under­stood, of course…

Sun­day arrived. An ordi­nary evening in the Tar­sus prison. It was mid­night, we were sit­ing in the block refec­to­ry, watch­ing the film “Mis­sion Impos­si­ble” on tv, talk­ing between friends, why is it Tom Cruise nev­er grows old and the fact he does his own action scenes with­out a stunt­man… All of a sud­den, the main door out to the cor­ri­dor opened and simul­ta­ne­ous­ly, so did the one giv­ing out on the prom­e­nade. Dozens of guards crowd­ed in like hard­ened cow­boys, hol­ler­ing “every­body out in the prom­e­nade!”. Sud­den­ly, we didn’t know where we were any­more. Nor­mal­ly, search­es took place dur­ing office hours, the door to the cor­ri­dor stayed opened but no one entered in this way, past mid­night and pulling every­body out­side. Clear­ly, an “oper­a­tion” was under­way. We were all dressed as one would in order to bear the heat of a warm night in Tarsus.

Incred­i­bly in abnor­mal sit­u­a­tions like these one, I was able to stay cool. This is what hap­pened. Walk­ing calm­ly out to the prom­e­nade I asked “what’s this, a par­ty?” One of the guards then cried out: “Come out from under every stone, Aslıhan Gençay”. That’s when I under­stood that this mid­night raid was from none oth­er than myself. Note: in sum­mer­time, the prom­e­nades in the cell­blocks closed at 8 PM, but this one was open so, in all the shuf­fle, me and my friends, act­ing impas­sive­ly, as if we were were about to savor this noc­tur­nal time out in the prom­e­nade. The civ­il ser­vants, act­ing fever­ish­ly, had request­ed as an observ­er  a pris­on­er who   wasn’t too famil­iar with pro­ce­dures. Nor­mal­ly, the pris­on­ers select the observers. But con­di­tions were not nor­mal, and what was meant to be, happened.

The search last­ed for half an hour, then the guards left the block. When we returned to the dor­mi­to­ry we saw that my lock­er and bed were the only ones pulled apart and left hel­ter-skel­ter, par­tic­u­lar­ly all the writ­ings that had been read. The pris­on­er who had served as an observ­er con­firmed: the search was aimed at me. Every­one looked at me with curios­i­ty; myself, act­ing as if noth­ing had hap­pened, I observed and lis­tened calm­ly. After all, only three peo­ple — me and two friends in the block — knew the rea­son behind all this. It was almost one AM when the door opened with a bang and one of the guards called out: “Aslıhan Gençay, come out imme­di­ate­ly!” At last, the expect­ed finale ! I head­ed toward the exit, one of my friends grabbed me “don’t go, we won’t squeal on you”. I answered, “no, it’s use­less, they’ll grab me any­way and they will attack you, why should you suf­fer over this?” And I head­ed for the door. I found myself in a crowd, wear­ing noth­ing but a night shirt, I wasn’t giv­en time enough to change.

We crossed the hall, approached the “aquar­i­um” zone where were held meet­ings with the direc­tion, I saw them all assem­bled, all the direc­tors (strange­ly, for this, a women’s prison, not a sin­gle one was a woman) and supe­ri­or offi­cers in civil­ian clothes because they had been called in from home. My clothes was not ade­quate for such a meet­ing, so I told the guards “are you going to make me face all those men in this out­fit? I want to go back to the block and get dressed”. But who was lis­ten­ing to me? We reached the “aquar­i­um”. OK, so the tor­ture par­ty was for me, I was the par­ty girl, had I been pre­pared, I would have gussied myself up!

As soon as I entered the room, I sat down of course and the direc­tor of the estab­lish­ment who couldn’t stand still, he was pac­ing back and forth yelled at the guards “make her staaand up!”  Two huge  female guards grabbed me by the arms, lift­ed me, and nev­er let go of my arms after­wards. The man was on the verge of a ner­vous break­down, he was spew­ing stuff that didn’t fit any log­i­cal frame­work, howl­ing and con­stant­ly accus­ing me. A few exam­ples: “I’m fight­ing against ter­ror­ism and you want to pull the rug from under my feet and have me removed from my duties as direc­tor! You want to bring in some­one else in my place, some­one younger, inex­pe­ri­enced so you can car­ry out ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties! You have me fol­lowed, you have my chil­dren fol­lowed! You’ve set up a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion just for my down­fall!”… I lis­tened calm­ly, while think­ing “gosh, such a per­son I am!” while laugh­ing at all this fool­ish non­sense. The man got even more excit­ed. At last, tired out, he shut up and it was my turn: “The fact I was brought here, after a mid­night oper­a­tion and in inad­e­quate cloth­ing is ille­gal. If I’m not tak­en back to the block, I will file a com­plaint against all of you. I want to call the pros­e­cu­tor imme­di­ate­ly. He must have told you he will inves­ti­gate what I told him, and you’re attempt­ing all togeth­er to shut me up. My alle­ga­tions are cer­tain­ly true if you’re sub­ject­ing me to all this pres­sure,” I said. And I added “more­over, what orga­ni­za­tion is this that I have cre­at­ed, I’m curi­ous to know. If there’s an orga­ni­za­tion, it must have a name, no?” The direc­tor stopped for a moment, thought about it and said, adding fic­ti­tious names for the two civ­il ser­vants com­plain­ing: “The Ayşe Fat­ma Aslı orga­ni­za­tion!” I know, you can’t believe this, but I swear he real­ly said it like that, I don’t know if it was a case of nerve over the absur­di­ty of it all, but I burst out laugh­ing. I did not know if I should laugh or cry, here we were faced with a new orga­ni­za­tion, and I was its founder! And away we go!

There fol­lowed the usu­al, run-of-the-mill threats: “Admit it, you’re try­ing to have us fired. You will nev­er leave this prison. We will open tri­als against you, you will be sen­tenced to 20 years for cre­at­ing and lead­ing a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion. You are here until the end of your life. If you don’t want this to hap­pen, admit now!”  But what I was sup­posed to admit exact­ly wasn’t too clear either…

My patience had lim­its also and it was my turn to yell at the top of my lungs: “You’re the ter­ror­ist! You’re the one cre­at­ing the orga­ni­za­tion. I did my duty, like any cit­i­zen should, I trans­mit­ted alle­ga­tions con­cern­ing you to the pros­e­cu­tor. This is not an offense. If you open a tri­al against me and if a sin­gle judge believes your dement­ed stuff and pun­ish­es me, wow, what has the jus­tice sys­tem become! You are a tor­tur­er and you have been tor­tur­ing me for an hour…”

Followed by: the torture of isolation

In this mad­house where I had lost my voice from yelling, I heard the direc­tor order: “put her into the iso­la­tion cell”. I protest­ed in vain “that’s ille­gal!” but I was dragged there by the guards who squeezed my arms until they were black and blue, and put me in an iso­la­tion cell on the top floor.

Set­ting eyes on it, the first thing I noticed was the fact the floor was wet and the bed and sheets had been care­ful­ly dipped into water, in oth­er words the cell had been “lov­ing­ly” pre­pared for me. I’ve already told you how much the direc­tor loved me! Instead of a toi­let, there was noth­ing. I head­ed straight for the door and start­ed pound­ing on it. I demand­ed drink­ing water, soap, paper tow­els my reg­u­lar med­ica­tion for asth­ma, cor­rect bed­ding. I received the same answer each time from a mem­ber of the A team: “for­bid­den by order of the direc­tor”. They even answered this to my request for soap “why, water isn’t good enough for you?”“Ah”, I told them “you’re part of those peo­ple who don’t wash their hands after using the toi­let”. You under­stand, all this was done out of love…

I was tru­ly reduced to con­di­tions from the mid­dle ages or per­haps I had fall­en asleep while watch­ing “Mis­sion Impos­si­ble” and none of this was hap­pen­ing for real. Sleep was now for­bid­den. I pound­ed on the cell door until dawn, demand­ing what I need­ed. Of course, this woke all the women sleep­ing in the oth­er cells, they heard what was going on, how could they have slept in all that rack­et? I offer them my deep­est apolo­gies for the tem­po­rary inconveniences…I man­aged to sleep at dawn. It was then Mon­day and I was still in the same situation.

The meal arrived, con­tain­ing meat. Won­der­ful, I’m a veg­e­tar­i­an. The women pushed the plate inside, while I pushed it back out. I told her “what a fine tor­ture… of course, there are a thou­sand and one ways to starve some­one”, and did not take it. Oh yes, by the way, each of my move­ments and words were record­ed by a cam­era. Imag­ine speak­ing with a cam­era always glued to your face. It was like being on the set of “Para­nor­mal Activ­i­ty”.

In the after­noon, the door opened and I was told I had a vis­i­tor. What a sur­prise! It was Melek Bengü Şahin, I men­tioned her before and as if to prove she was a being sprin­kled in fairy dust and dropped to Earth, she had decid­ed to come, for no par­tic­u­lar rea­son. More­over, the vis­it not tak­ing place in the morn­ing as usu­al, she had wait­ed into the after­noon. And such a wait­ing peri­od! In order to get rid of Bengü, they lied say­ing “Aslı’s block has changed, so did the vis­it­ing days. No vis­i­tors today.” Yet, hav­ing lis­tened into the phone con­ver­sa­tion, they were cer­tain I would not have a vis­i­tor on this Mon­day. But Bengü, who wasn’t sup­posed to come, was there, and their plans to let me suf­fer in an iso­la­tion cell until the fol­low­ing Sat­ur­day had fall­en apart. Unknow­ing­ly, Bengü had thwart­ed their plan.

Uncon­vinced by their lies, my friend  insist­ed, say­ing she was deter­mined not to go any­where before hav­ing seen me, and final­ly she man­aged to obtain a vis­it in the afternoon.

I came out of the cell in a piti­ful state, still with the cam­era fol­low­ing me every­where, and reached the space ded­i­cat­ed to vis­its for penal pris­on­ers. Every­one looked at me because all the oth­er detainees had tak­en care to dress up for the vis­it where­as I looked as if I’d just arrived from a con­struc­tion site accom­pa­nied by cam­eras. I will nev­er for­get the reunion with Bengü, our embrace over there. They always say you should have a  few loy­al friends in your life. How true. I felt as if I had been car­ried from hell to par­adise and met there Melek (angel in Turk­ish) Bengü. But we couldn’t talk nor­mal­ly because a guard had stuck the cam­era between us and inter­vened in every­thing I said. Dur­ing the meet­ing that last­ed 15 min­utes, I told Bengü every­thing, as best I could, and request­ed a lawyer. She embraced me and said “not to wor­ry, I’ll take care of every­thing”, and she did. We walked through argu­ments together…(While I’m at it, I give infi­nite thanks to the beau­ti­ful and excep­tion­al per­son known as Melek Bengü Şahin, my sis­ter, my lifte­long friend who works as a psy­chol­o­gist in Istanbul’s Metr­topoli­tan City Hall.)

Thus, my friends, lawyers and fam­i­ly on the out­side would be informed of what I was sub­ject­ed to, and I calmed down. From then on, my time in this cell could be spent on writ­ing requests to every State author­i­ty and Human Rights orga­ni­za­tion, to say what had hap­pened. This is what I did. To such an extent that once, the guard brought back the let­ters and said “we can’t send these let­ters, you crit­i­cize the admin­is­tra­tion”. I looked straight into the cam­era and answered “Record this, it is my legal right, you are vio­lat­ing my rights, I will not take them back!” And my let­ters were sent.

The fol­low­ing day, I was called for my state­ment. The direc­tor of the estab­lish­ment was sit­ting in front of me again, spew­ing his non­sense, but with a bit less self-con­fi­dence. Of course, I did not agree to any­thing. For hours I was sim­ply sub­ject­ed to his pres­sure tac­tics and he attempt­ed to have me accept his crazy notions. I described the facts, men­tioned my two friends from the block as wit­ness­es. Since they had been called on to tes­ti­fy with­out my knowl­edge, and had stat­ed exact­ly the same things I had, my own words were clar­i­fied. This is how the plot  the direc­tor who loved me so much had attempt­ed to build against me, collapsed…

Of course, my lawyer Tugay Bek, nev­er aban­doned me in this cell. As usu­al, he was by my side, came to the vis­its and inter­vened for the lift­ing of my iso­la­tion. His efforts were in vain. My future remained uncer­tain. But since pub­lic opin­ion knew about it, my human needs were attend­ed to and I was even tak­en to the sports hall for three hours a day, I could also access hot water for cof­fee and tea. More­over, the prison pros­e­cu­tor was trans­ferred to anoth­er dis­trict, and a new one des­ig­nat­ed for the estab­lish­ment. I heard of this when the new pros­e­cu­tor came to inspect the cells. Dur­ing the vis­it he said to the civ­il ser­vants with him “she calls this a ’cell? But they’re noth­ing but indi­vid­ual rooms.” Yes, if that’s the case, you should have come to reside there, Mis­ter Prosecutor…I knew it, he dear­ly loved me also.

And the deportation…

After 15 days in iso­la­tion, one morn­ing the cell door opened sud­den­ly and I was told “you’re being trans­ferred”. They bare­ly allowed me ten min­utes to gath­er up my things. Since most of them had remained in the block, they had already been gath­ered up and placed the the ring, the carcer­al vehi­cle. Of course, some of my things were miss­ing. Lat­er, I filled out dozens of requests from my new prison, I put myself out quite a bit to recu­per­ate them and suc­ceed­ed in the end…

Where were we? Ah yes, when I came out of the cell and was tak­en to the detainee admis­sion space, both the sol­diers and the ring were ready, I was the only one lack­ing. I was about to climb into the ring and to leave with no idea of where I was going when the civ­il ser­vants stuck a piece of paper in my hand. I could only read it once on the road. Absur­di­ty was trav­el­ling with me, I had been giv­en a dis­ci­pli­nary sanc­tion: a 3 month pro­hi­bi­tion to vis­its. For what motive? “Say­ing bad things in the estab­lish­ment”. I laughed dur­ing the whole trip. I asked the com­man­der where we were going, and his answer was: “Kay­seri”.

Charges dismissed against the torturers

In the first weeks of August 2018, with­out the oppor­tu­ni­ty to say good­bye to my friends in Tar­sus, I was per­ma­nent­ly trans­ferred to the prison of Kay­seri. I learned that all the Tar­sus pris­on­ers deport­ed there had denounced the Tar­sus admin­is­tra­tion and filed com­plaints against it. I think even the Jus­tice min­istry couldn’t stand the women’s prison of Tar­sus any­more. So what were they to do? Would there be an inves­ti­ga­tion about these alle­ga­tions? Would the respon­si­ble par­ties be sanc­tioned? I was in no way cer­tain about it since, final­ly, all my denun­ci­a­tions, all my com­plaints over what I had expe­ri­enced were dis­missed one after the oth­er, and to my knowl­edge, the per­son I men­tion is still the direc­tor of the women’s prison in Tar­sus. So, Jus­tice Min­is­ter Abdül­hamid Gül, what will you do about all this, huh? I’m real­ly curi­ous as to why I was sub­ject­ed to all this and why mat­ters went no further.

Ah yes, and what about the sanc­tion I was admin­is­tered? I protest­ed against it and dur­ing the first hear­ing before the sen­tenc­ing tri­bunal, the judge said “Madam, you have com­mit­ted no crime, what you did was not an offense, con­se­quent­ly, I’m annulling this sanc­tion.” In this SEGBIS room (tele­con­fer­enc­ing room) one of the guards from Kay­seri prison who was stand­ing next to me, was as hap­py about it as I was, and we embraced. Don’t say this is not pos­si­ble, this kind of women’s sol­i­dar­i­ty can some­times occur with cer­tain people…

I must spec­i­fy that what I have told is a sim­ple sum­ma­ry of what I expe­ri­enced. Don’t say “what a long sum­ma­ry!”, believe me, there would be much more to say about it…

In the next chron­i­cle, we will raise the lantern toward Sivas in order to shed some lights on the oppres­sions and obscu­ri­ties in the Sivas pris­ons. A bit of patience, please…

Aslıhan Gençay

For other “Prison Notes”, follow this link.

Aslıhan Gençay
Aslıhan Gençay was born in 1974 and obtained a diploma from the Economic and Administrative Sciences Faculty of Izmir’s Dokuz Eylül University. Because of her identity as a leftist opponent, she was imprisoned for 10 years in 1992. She still bears the sequels of her “fast to the death”, hunger strikes, carried out in prisons in the year 2000. Following her liberation for health reasons, she began working as a a journalist. She wrote for the Radikal, Milliyet Sanat and edited the art and culture pages in Özgür Gündem. In 2016, a reprieve by the European Court of Human Rights was annulled and she was re-imprisoned for five years to carry out the rest of her sentence in the prisons of Sincan (Ankara), Tarsus, Kayseri and Sivas. She regained her freedom in May 2021. She is currently a chronicler for Davul Gazetesi and editor for an NGO.

Translation from French by Renée Lucie Bourges

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