On 31 August 2016, Turkish translator, editor, critic, author and linguist Necmiye Alpay (70) was arrested. Alpay is a member of the Turkish Association of Translators (ÇEVBİR (http://cevbir NULL.org NULL.tr/)), represented in CEATL.
Necmiye Alpay has always been a staunch defender of freedom of expression and a voice calling for peace between Turkey and the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). As such she was a member of the advisory board of the pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgür Gündem, a symbolic position deemed to show support for freedom of expression. On 16 August, Özgür Gündem was shut down temporarily by the state for ‘supporting PKK terrorism’. Since then, everyone involved with the newspaper has been under investigation. Necmiye Alpay has been accused of ‘being a member of an armed terrorist group’. It was decided that she should be imprisoned awaiting trial, on the pretext that ‘she might flee’. Alpay is one of many intellectuals and journalists who have been jailed awaiting trial, but she is the oldest, and in fragile health. Her imprisonment is a politically motivated move by the Turkish state to silence voices calling for a peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict.
Necmiye Alpay denies all charges against her. Her imprisonment is politically motivated. CEATL believes that she is being held solely for the peaceful exercise of her right to free expression. Freedom of expression is a universal human right granted to every individual, and a prerequisite for a flourishing cultural climate in any country.
To protest Alpay’s detention and demand her immediate release CEATL sent a letter to the Turkish authorities on 25 October 2016. Click here and here for the letter (in English), or here and here for the French translation.
For more information on Necmiye Alpay’s case, please click here.