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Turkey: Kurdish PEN member held on terror charges

Friday 4 August 2017 - 1:00am

RAN 14/17

4 August 2017

PEN International is concerned at the arrest and detention of writer and Kurdish PEN member Hasip Yanlıç who was charged on 6 July 2017 with “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation without being a member” after being arrested at his house in Diyarbakır.

PEN International fears that Hasip Yanlıç is being targeted for his writings and outspoken stance on linguistic rights and Kurdish education. The organisation calls on the Turkish authorities to release Yanlıç immediately.


Send a message of support:

Please consider sending letters or postcards in a show of support and solidarity addressed to Hasip Yanlıç, who is currently being held in Diyarbakır Closed D Type Prison:


Hasip Yanlıç,
Diyarbakır D Tipi Yüksek Güvenlikli Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu
Üçkuyu Mahallesi, 21010 Yenişehir/Diyarbakır

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Please send appeals to the Turkish authorities:

  • Calling for the immediate release of Hasip Yanlıç;
  • Calling for all detained writers and journalists to be released if they are not to be charged with a criminal offence and tried promptly in accordance with international fair trial standards;
  • Calling on them not to use the state of emergency to crack down on peaceful dissent, civil society, media and education;
  • Calling for end of the crackdown in the Kurdish regions and for a peaceful solutionto the ongoing conflict.

 Please send appeals reiterating PENs calls to:

Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül
Milli Müdafaa Caddesi No: 22
06659, Kızılay
Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım
Çankaya Mah. Ziaur Rahman
Cad. Çankaya / Ankara
Tel: (+90 312) 403 50 00
Fax: (+90 312) 422 10 00

Copies to:

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Cumhurbaşkanlığı Külliyesi
06560 Beştepe-Ankara
Tel : (+90 312) 525 55 55
Fax : (+90 312) 525 58 31
Email: receptayyip.Erdoğ
Twitter: @RT_Erdoğan

Please copy your appeals to the Embassy of Turkey in your country.  A list of embassies can be found here.


Hasip Yanlıç was born in 1973 in Diyarbakir where he studied at university and later worked as an accountant. He is a Kurdish teacher, journalist and author, who has been a member of the Kurdish Journalist Association and Kurdish PEN since 2013 where he has played an active role in all Kurdish PEN events and conferences.  Since 2004, he has worked as a Kurdish language teacher for two Kurdish language organisations, Kurdî Der and the Kurdish Language Institute. In addition to having the honour of publishing the world’s first Kurdish book on accountancy in 2011 entitled  Jimêryariya Giştî (General Accounting Concepts), he has also published Çîrokên Şoreşgerî (Stories of Struggle) in 2012, Kêzxatûnê (The Beetle Lady- Stories for Children) 2010 and Lîstikên Zarokan (Plays for Children) 2012.

Yanlıç’s lawyer report that the charges against Yanlıç relate to historic emails concerning the first chapter of his book on accountancy Jimêryariya Giştî and his role with the  Koma Civakên Democrat (Kurdish Democratic Groups) under whose umbrella he taught Kurdish language courses.  The prosector claims that the emails and his association with Koma Civakên Democrat are proof of his “aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation”.

Yanlıç remains in Diyarbakır closed D type prison.

Freedom of expression in Turkey has deteriorated sharply since the failed coup of 15 July 2016. Over 170 news outlets have been shut down under laws passed by presidential decree following the imposition of a state of emergency, a period that has been characterised by the heavy-handed use of extraordinary powers while normal constitutional protections are suspended.

There has also been a massive crackdown on Kurdish language and culture, with Kurdish language being banned in print press, closures of pro-Kurdish media outlets, the forced replacement of elected local officials and arrests of MPs from the pro-Kurdish HDP party. Thousands of teachers, journalists and academics were also suspended from their jobs as part of a nation-wide purge.

While recognising the right of the Turkish authorities to bring to justice those responsible for crimes during the attempted coup, PEN International calls on the Turkish authorities to safeguard freedom of expression, human rights and respect their obligations under international law during the declared state of emergency and to release all journalists and writers held solely in connection with their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. The organisation further calls for an end of the crackdown in the Kurdish regions and for a peaceful solution to the ongoing conflict.

For further details contact Laurens Hueting at PEN International, Koops Mill, 162-164 Abbey Street, London, SE1 2AN, UK Tel: +44 (0) 20 7405 0338 Fax +44 (0) 20 7405 0339 e-mail: