Support Initiatives
August 23, 2017

Spain: Support human rights author Doğan Akhanlı!

Cold metal of handcuffs on his wrists, accusing gazes watching every move he does - the Turkish writer Doğan Akhanlı knows this situation too well from his former life in Turkey. But this time it is not Turkey, but the Spanish state that makes the author and political activist remember his darkest days in prison in his home country. Living in Germany since the 1990s as an exiled author, Akhanlı went on a regular holiday trip with his family to Granada in Spain. A day after his arrival the Spanish police knocked on his hotel room door, heavily armed and in bullet proof vests- as if he would be a dangerous criminal.

Since 2013 the Turkish government is carrying out an extradition procedure against him. Akhanlı is accused for participating in a robbery in 1989 during his time as a political activist. Eyewitnesses said he was not the culprit. After his trial and acquittal in Turkey, he left his country of origin to live in Germany - a place where he felt safe from the threatening Turkish authorities. After years of living and travelling safely through Europe the international police cooperation INTERPOL finally reacted to his case with new accusations: Terrorism and an attempt to overthrow the government. "I believe the state cannot bear my acquittal," Akhanlı explains. His lawyer suspects that he was spied on by the Spanish authorities - in a time of mass accusations, detainments and trials initiated by the current Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

In his novels, essays, interviews and in his projects, Doğan Akhanlı continually argues for the true treatment of historical violence and the indivisibility of human rights - topics of his own life until this very present moment: For 40 days Akhanlı will not be allowed to leave Spain. For 40 days he is required to report to the local authorities once per week. The costs for a Spanish and a German lawyer taking care of his case will ruin him and his family. For this reason, the German center of the international writers association P.E.N. calls for donations to help the author in this difficult situation. The money donated is used exclusively for the costs arising in context of this legal dispute. Should a surplus remain, the amount would benefit the Writers-in-Prison program of the P.E.N. Center Germany, a project committed to persecuted and imprisoned authors and journalists. Donations go to:

PEN-Zentrum Deutschland e.V

„Dogan Akhanli“.

Volksbank Darmstadt-Südhessen eG

IBAN: DE22 5089 000 0058 9207 11


Call to Action
Spain: Support human rights author Doğan Akhanlı!