Turkey: Solidarity with Nedim Türfent

Global appeal

Today marks 2000 days since news editor, reporter and poet Nedim Türfent was arrested and subsequently sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison on trumped-up terrorism charges following an unfair trial, during which scores of witnesses said they had been tortured into testifying against him. Fifty-four organisations urge once again the Turkish authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally, and to overturn his conviction.

‘Today marks another painful milestone in Nedim Türfent’s gross miscarriage of justice. That he has now spent 2000 days behind bars simply for doing his job beggars belief. As a first step towards rectifying this injustice, the Turkish authorities must release him immediately and unconditionally and urgently quash his conviction. Türfent’s application before the European Court of Human Rights is still pending, almost three years after being lodged, and we trust that the Court can prioritize the case. The PEN Community stands once again by Türfent and all the writers and journalists wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey and will keep advocating for their freedom until every single one of them is released’, said Ma Thida, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee.

The global appeal is available in English and Turkish here.

Poetry

While in prison Nedim Türfent wrote ‘Kuş Aynası,’ a collection of poems published in September 2021 in Turkey by Aram Publishing. Today, the PEN community is proud to publish the English translation of the poem ‘Sana dair izlerin peşinde’ (Following the Traces of You) from this collection, translated by Caroline Stockford, Turkey Advisor at PEN Norway.

Sana dair izlerin peşinde

Yüreğime dokunuyor yalnızlık

İçimde

Oracıkta bir yerde

İnce bir sancı

Dokunaklı bir ezgi

Nasıl anlatsam

Katran karası karanlıklarla

Cebelleşiyorum yokluğunda..

Yokluğun

Sonu belirsiz bir serüven!

Çalakalem düşüyorum

Boş sayfalara

Satır satır yokluğunda...

Yazabilmek seni

Yokluğuna değinebilmek

Ne zor işmiş meğer!

Yazmaya yeltenmek seni

Bir kekeme hal

Bir lal hal

Bir türlü dile gelememe hali

Bu doğurgan sayfalarda...

Saflarında yaşıyorum

Yokluğunun...

Dile kolay

Gözlerimin kırgın kıyısında

Özlüyorum seni.

Bir avuç hücrede

Bir dünya hasret

Yokluğun...


Following the Traces of You

Loneliness lays its hand on my heart

Within me

Just there, just somewhere

A gentle twinge

A tender melancholy

How can I explain?

In the pitch of darkness

I grapple, struggle with your absence.

Your absence

A never-ending adventure

I fill blank pages

With line after line of the lack of you,

Scribbling it hastily.

To write you, to write down

your absence

Is so hard a thing to do!

Striving to write you

Is like a state of stammering,

Stuck in its form like a tied tongue

I’m unable to say so, to spell it out

On these prolific pages

I exist in the roll call

Of your absence.

Here at the shoreline

of my aching eyes, it’s easy to say

I miss you. Here, in a palm-sized cell

Your absence

Is a world’s worth of longing.

Solidarity

Nedim Türfent is an honorary member of English PEN and PEN Melbourne. He has repeatedly thanked the PEN community for their support. Speaking to his lawyers on 22 October 2021, he said:

‘Bu tecrit koşullarında kalemimize direnç sağlayan PEN’e ve tüm üyelerine bir kez daha teşekkürlerimi sunuyorum.’

‘I thank PEN and all its members who empower my pen under these conditions of solitary confinement.’

Please continue sending messages of solidarity in English, German, Turkish or Kurdish, to:

Nedim Türfent

Van Yüksek Güvenlikli

Kapalı Ceza İnfaz Kurumu

Koğuş A-44

Van

Turkey

Online messages of solidarity can also be sent via English PEN’s PENWrites campaign.

For more information about PEN’s campaign for Nedim Türfent 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: Aurelia.dondo@pen-international.org