Ayşe Berktay, a translator, writer and activist in Turkey, will be awarded the 2013 PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award. Ayşe Berktay, a member of the Turkish association of Translators (ÇEVBİR), was arrested on 14 September 2011 and is currently being tried for ‘membership in an illegal organisation’ for her pro-Kurdish cultural advocacy. She is, according to PEN’s press release, one of at least 130 writers currently in prison or on trial in Turkey.
In announcing the award in New York, Freedom to Write Program Director Larry Siems praised Ayşe Berktay’s ‘tremendous courage in standing up one for PEN’s most cherished values: the right to speak and read in one’s mother tongue, and the beautiful effort to translate languages across borders’.
The award, which honors international writers who have been persecuted or imprisoned for exercising or defending the right to freedom of expression, will be presented at PEN’s Annual Gala on 30 April 2013, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
For more information, click here (http://www NULL.pen NULL.org/press-release/2013/04/15/top-pen-prize-honor-jailed-turkish-translator-ay%C5%9Fe-berktay).