Imprisoned linguist Necmiye Alpay has written letters to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, asking them to comply with their previous promises regarding democracy.
In a letter addressed to Erdoğan and Yıldırım on Nov. 12, Alpay stated that she wrote the letter to ask the president to use his power to stop unjust detentions. “I am asking you to give us all our rights back. I hope that you use your will not for the state of emergency or the nationalists, but for a democracy suited for our times, implement the rule of law, to end injustice and to seek a solution and peace that you [President Erdoğan] once succeeded in during your premiership,” she said.
In her letter addressed to the leader of the CHP, she thanked Kılıçdaroğlu and the party for supporting her and the imprisoned novelist Aslı Erdoğan, but criticized Kılıçdaroğlu for his words over the peace process, which she said opposed the advocacy of peace.
In addition, Canadian Booker prize winner Margaret Atwood wrote a letter of solidarity to Aslı Erdoğan. Atwood wrote to the fellow writer on her 91st day in prison to tell the novelist that her “words still shape the fight for freedom and the right to free expression.”
“I have faith that you will very soon be free. I hope that you will find yourself in a Turkey where you can write and speak without fear and censorship, a Turkey that celebrates diversity of thought and opinion. I hope you will live in a Turkey that is proud of the voices of its talented thinkers, writers, and artists who have reached so many admirers far beyond its borders. I hope you will live in a Turkey that is proud of its democracy – a Turkey that is proud of voices like yours,” Atwood said.
Alpay and Erdoğan face aggravated life sentences for allegedly conducting propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and are accused of being members of an armed terror organization and disrupting the unity of the state. Their arrests followed the Turkish government’s closure of the pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem under the state of emergency after the July 15 coup attempt.