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Turkey: Take action for Selahattin Demirtaş on his birthday

Turkey: Take action for Selahattin Demirtaş on his birthday

10 April

​Writer and opposition politician Selahattin Demirtaş turns 48 on Saturday 10 April. This will be the fifth birthday he spends behind bars, away from his loved ones.

Demirtaş has been held in pre-trial detention for over four years, on dubious terrorism charges. The European Court of Human Rights twice ruled for his release, to no avail.

It is time that Turkey abides by its obligations under international law and release Demirtaş once and for all.


Join the call to free Selahattin Demirtaş on social media #FreeDemirtaş

For more information about Selahattin Demirtaş and PEN’s campaign please click here.

For further details contact Aurélia Dondo 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:

English Down arrow

.@abdulhamitgul, Selahattin Demirtaş should spend his birthday with his family, not behind bars. Release him immediately and unconditionally #FreeDemirtaş

Selahattin Demirtaş turns 48 today. This is the fifth birthday he spends behind bars. .@abdulhamitgul abide by @ECHR_CEDH rulings and release him now #FreeDemirtaş

.@abdulhamitgul, the PEN Community stands with Selahattin Demirtaş. Today is his birthday. He must be freed. #FreeDemirtaş

Turkish Down arrow

.@abdulhamitgul, Selahattin Demirtaş doğum gününü parmaklıklar ardında değil, ailesiyle geçirmeli. Kendisini hemen ve koşulsuz olarak serbest bırakın #DemirtaşaÖzgürlük

Selahattin Demirtaş bugün 48 yaşına giriyor. Bu parmaklıklar ardında geçirdiği beşinci doğum günü.@abdulhamitgul, @ECHR_CEDH kararlarına uyun ve kendisini hemen serbest bırakın #DemirtaşaÖzgürlük

.@abdulhamitgul, PEN ailesi Selahattin Demirtaş’ın yanında. Bugün onun doğum günü. Kendisi özgür bırakılmalı. #DemirtaşaÖzgürlük


Ask the Turkish authorities to release Selahattin Demirtaş immediately and unconditionally.

Abdulhamit Gül

Role: Minister of Justice

Address: Ministry of Justice, Adalet Bakanlığı, 06659 Ankara, Turkey Twitter Contact:

Send copies to the Embassy of Turkey in your own country. Embassy addresses may be found here:


Please send messages to:

Selahattin Demirtaş

Edirne F Tipi CİK B1-38



Please consider electing Selahattin Demirtaş as an honorary member of your Centre.

Background information Down arrow

Former co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtaş was arrested on 4 November 2016 on dubious terrorism charges. The Turkish authorities have so far failed to implement a landmark ruling of the European Court of Human Rights issued in November 2018, which found his detention to be politically motivated and ordered his immediate release – a call reiterated by the Court’s Grand Chamber in December 2020. PEN International calls for his immediate and unconditional release.

While in prison Demirtaş wrote a collection of short stories entitled Seher (Dawn), which instantly became a best-seller and was translated into scores of languages. His latest book Devran was published in 2019. He is an honorary member of German PEN and PEN Català.