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06.10.2017

Asli Erdoğan: “For all the journalists with their tongues cut out, solidarity is important“

Asli Erdoğan and Deniz Yücel have today been jointly awarded with Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media by the Media Foundation of the Sparkasse Leipzig.

Ilkay Yücel and Asli Erdogan in Leipzig Asli Erdoğan and Deniz Yücel have today been jointly awarded with Prize for the Freedom and Future of the Media by the Media Foundation of the Sparkasse Leipzig.

"The list of writers and journalists from Turkey is getting longer", said Dr. Harald Langenfeld, chair of the Media Foundation and the Sparkasse Leipzig. “This prize is the symbol of our bond and friendship with the people in Turkey who are fighting for democracy.”

The sister of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel, who has been held without charge in a Turkish jail for almost 8 months, will accept the award on his behalf. Asked for news of her brother at the press conference she said, “unfortunately there is no news, just uncertainty”.

Turkish writer and journalist Asli Erdoğan talked about her time in jail: “It’s like a war. Once you experience it, it stays with you for the rest of your life.” Still today Erdoğan suffers from insomnia and nausea. “In my dreams I am still in court, fighting these judges.”

Asked about the importance of winning prizes she added: “Without the solidarity of the Pen Club and the German media no one would have heard my voice. You sit in your cell and you wonder if this door will ever open again. I can tell you, for all the journalists in jail - in solitary confinement, beaten, with their tongues cut out - solidarity is enormously important.”

For more information about the prize please check here.





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