Ahmet Altan

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I’m watching the coronavirus crisis unfold from a Turkish prison. This is why I’m hopeful

These days being in an actual prison while everyone else is confined inside their homes feels like sitting in a fish tank at the bottom of the ocean.

I can see (by reading the old newspapers the guards give us and watching some of the channels we’re allowed to watch) that you’re worried to death. Well, I’m 70 years and I’m in a prison where covid-19 cases are spreading fast, all for offending, with alleged “subliminal messages,” the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. As someone who knows more about sitting at the bottom of the ocean and being the target of death than most, I’d like to tell you this: Don’t give in to self-despair.…  Seguir leyendo »

Soldiers and government supporters in Taksim Square, Istanbul, during the coup attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, in July 2016. Credit Emrah Gurel/Associated Press

Editors’ note: On Feb. 16, a Turkish court sentenced Ahmet Altan, a novelist and former newspaper editor; his brother, Mehmet Altan, an economics professor and political commentator; Nazli Ilicak, a prominent journalist; and three media employees to life imprisonment without parole for involvement in the July 15, 2016, coup attempt in Turkey.

The Altan brothers had appeared on a television program hosted by Ms. Ilicak a day before the coup attempt. Turkish prosecutors claimed that they gave “subliminal messages” announcing the coup on the program.

Turkey says that a network led by Fethullah Gulen, an Islamist cleric based in the United States, orchestrated the coup, which included an attempt on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s life, the bombing of the Parliament and the deaths of more than 270 people.…  Seguir leyendo »