Turkish writer convicted because of his characters

ISTANBUL – The Turkish writer Mehmet Güler was sentenced to fifteen months imprisonment because characters in his book allegedly made propaganda for the PKK. This story appears in the Thursday edition of Hürriyet.

Güler’s book ‘Decision harder than death’ was published last year but was soon withdrawn from the market on charges of propaganda for a terrorist organisation. The book is about the conflict between leftists and rightists in the seventies of the previous century, about young Kurds who start their fight against the Turkish state and end up in prison being tortured. Güler himself was  in prison for fifteen years, according to him for having friends who were members of illegal organisations.

Remarkably enough, the prosecutor asked for Güler’s acquittal. Previous prosecutions of writers for statements made by their characters were always dismissed, as in the case some years ago against one of Turkey’s most famous writers, Elif Safak. Mehmet Güler will appeal against the verdict and is being supported by several international human rights organisations.

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