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/)).
Alpay received her BA degree from Ankara University, and her Ph.D. degree from Paris University at Nanterre. She has translated numerous works into Turkish, including those of Said, Girard, Ricoeur and Marchand. Moreover, she has devoted much of her efforts to improving the quality of written Turkish, and has penned several books on the subject. Alpay has also worked as an editor for various periodicals, and has contributed regularly to several newspapers.
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.
The Turkish Association of Translators, ÇEVBİR, demands the immediate release of their member Necmiye Alpay, and an end to this political witch-hunt by the government against intellectuals supporting a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict in Turkey.