Nişanyan, renowned Turkish-Armenian intelectual, applied for political asylum in Greece

Sevan Nişanyan

Renowned Turkish-Armenian intelectual, linguist and writer Sevan Nişanyan, who escaped from a Turkish prison two weeks ago after having been jailed in 2014 on charges of illegal construction, has announced that he had applied for political asylum in Greece and got his residence card there.

“We have applied for political asylum in Greece and got my residence card,” Nişanyan said in a post on his Facebook on July 26. He also changed his cover photo to an image of the Acropolis.

Nişanyan was imprisoned in Jan. 2, 2014 on nine different charges to serve for 11 years and six months in jail after completing the construction of a house in Şirince town of the Aegean province of İzmir despite a court decision. The court had previously ruled that Nişanyan should not enter the area, regarded as a natural site.

After leaving prison on sanctioned leave, Nişanyan was supposed to surrender to the Foça Open Prison in İzmir by 9:45 a.m. on July 14, but he did not do so. “The bird has flown away. The same wishes to the remaining 80 million,” he said in a tweet announcing his escape.

Nişanyan (61), one of the most colorful personalities in Turkish intellectual life and critical of the government, has been in Foça Open Prison. Nişanyan was sentenced to a total of 17 years in a number of cases, the Agos Armenian weekly reported.

Nişanyan came to public attention in January with a twitter message saying that Turkey’s Justice Ministry had banned all newspapers and books from prisons except for the Quran as of Jan. 9.  Nişanyan has penned columns for the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos and the daily Taraf which was closed by despotic regime of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan following a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016.

July 27, 2017

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