Turkey: Kurdish PEN member held on terror charges

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 solution to the ongoing conflict.

Please send appeals reiterating PEN’s calls to:
Minister of Justice Abdülhamit Gül
Milli Müdafaa Caddesi No: 22
06659, Kızılay
Ankara, Turkey
Fax: +90 312 419 33 70
Email: abdulhamit.gul [at] tbmm.gov [dot] tr; ozelkalem [at] adalet.gov [dot] tr

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: contact [at] tccb.gov [dot] tr
Email: receptayyip.Erdoğan@basbakanlik.gov.tr
Facebook: ‘.((strlen(‘https://www.facebook.com/RecepTayyipErdo’)>40) ? substr(‘https://www.facebook.com/RecepTayyipErdo’,0,40).’…’ : ‘https://www.facebook.com/RecepTayyipErdo’).’‘ğan
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 recognizing 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.