Jailed writers denied access to own books under Turkey’s emergency rule

Jailed writers Kerem Bilen and Fırat Can were denied by Turkish authorities to access to the books they wrote in prison due to post-coup emergency measures in the country, reported Evrensel daily on Monday.

Mehmet Salih Erşari, the editor of the publisher Arjen Yayınları said the authors cannot take a copy of their own books. “It is a great injustice not to give an author his own book. It makes no sense. It cannot be explained with the ‘book ban.’ The authors sent us the drafts of these books with the approval of the prison management in the first place. When we published them and tried to send back to the authors as printed books, they did not accept,” Erşari said.

Under arrest for 18 years on charges of membership to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), author Kerem Bilen wrote his Kurdish-language novel, Meşa Jiyanê, [Life journey] in Trabzon E Type Prison.

Fırat Can was arrested in Syria and deported back to Turkey in April 2011 over similar charges. His book, Umuda Bir Ülke [A County Through Hope] was written in Antalya prison.

Previously the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party’s (HDP) jailed co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş’s  book “Seher — Dawn” Yeni Asya daily’s jailed editor Naciye Nur Ener‘s recently released book over human rights violations in Turkey in the aftermath of a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 was also prohibited in Turkish prisons.

A selection of short stories written by Demirtaş was banned by Diyarbakır Prison administration for allegedly “including encrypted messages.” A storybook titled “Seher (Dawn)”, which has been written by Demitaş in Edirne Prison, was published on September 16. According to a report by pro-Kurdish Fırat news agency (ANF), İhsan Uğur, imprisoned co-mayor of Hizan district of Bitlis province, was transferred from Elazığ Prison to Diyarbakir D Type Prison on October 2. The Diyarbakır Prison’s administration has reportedly confiscated Uğur’s books, which included Demirtaş’s “Seher.”

The book titled “Üç Dal Papatya — Three Sprigs of Daisies”, which was published by the Yeni Asya Publications, compiled the letters from the victims who were dismissed from their duties, detained and jailed over their alleged links to the Gülen movement following July 15 coup attempt.

In order to make the voice of the victims of Turkish government’s massive human rights violations heard, journalist Naciye Nur Ener began to compile the letters to publish as a book. However journalist Eren was also detained by Turkish government on March 5, 2017 over her alleged use of ByLock mobile phone messaging application and later jailed over the same accusation. Her colleagues have completed the unfinished book and published as she is still in prison.

Kazım Güleçyüz, editor-in-chief of Yeni Asya daily has stated in his speech at the presentation of the book that journalist Naciye Nur Ener, who was in Bakırköy Women Closed Prison, said that her book was not given herself and her newspapers were not taken in. (SCF with turkeypurge.com)

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