2 Aralık 2020, Çarşamba
Ana Sayfa Media Media Freedom A message from Osman Kavala on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer,...

A message from Osman Kavala on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, 2020

Imprisoned philantrophe businessperson Osman Kavala has written a letter for Wales PEN Cymru’s and Scottish PEN’s event to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer which took place on November 15, 2020 online.

I  am not a writer, but I have carried out a variety of projects with writers and publishers. One of the most exciting of these for me, and one which comes to mind very often these days is a project we carried out in the early 2000s called ‘Rising Over Prison Walls’. In this particular project we ran a series of writing and art workshops in prisons, where we also showed films and held seminars..  As part of this project, in conjunction with PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee, and the publishing houses Metis and Kanat, we published the short stories and poems of many prisoners who had not formerly thought of themselves, or been thought of as writers.

Writing, of course, is an activity that frees a person, and to publish writing is a vehicle for sharing life with other people. Both of these are hugely important for those who are in prison. Literature, as well as enhancing and developing our thinking, also allows us to enter other people’s worlds and in turn literature increases our feelings of empathy. We need this capacity for empathy in order to internalise legal norms. A lack of the capacity for empathy can be seen in the actions of those members of the judiciary who deprive innocent people of their liberty, despite the fact that they themselves are very well versed indeed in legal protocols. We can say the same thing for a wider section of people who remain silent in the face of injustices and who tell themselves that such injustices are normal.

Of course, it would not be very realistic of us to put all our faith in literature and hope that it would be able to iron out the problems in the legal system. That is the job of political actors.

However, in order for us to live together in a civilised manner as individuals who listen to one another, understand one another and who react in unison against injustices, we need to protect and develop our capacity for empathy.

In this new world of ours with its own reality of internet-based information that muddies our relationships, in which artifical intelligence and the manipultion of algorithms come further to the foreground, I believe we need writers and literature more than ever.

I do not see the Writers in Prison campaigns of the PEN family in its varied corners of the world as merely a manifestation of empathy and justice, but as an excercise in the education of humankind.

I am extremely happy that you are remembering me today, along with my prison neighbour Ahmet Altan, with Nedim Türfent and with the poet Ilhan Sami Çomak who has spent so many long years in prison. I would like to thank Wales PEN Cymru and Scottish PEN.

–Osman Kavala, 2020

translated by Caroline Stockford

Support by Following Us

133TakipçilerTakip Et
10,437TakipçilerTakip Et

Latest News

HIV will lose! December 1, World AIDS Day

Today is the World AIDS Day, and HIV activism efforts helped people living with HIV get affected by the coronavirus pandemic as little as...

CHP Istanbul board responds to mafia leader’s threats against CHP leader

After notorious criminal gang leader Alattin Çakıcı's “threats and insults" main opposition Republican People's Party CHP responded with a statement through its Istanbul board...

A message from Osman Kavala on the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, 2020

Imprisoned philantrophe businessperson Osman Kavala has written a letter for Wales PEN Cymru's and Scottish PEN's event to mark the Day of the Imprisoned...

Turkey’s Minister of Treasury & Finance gets “pardoned” from duties, revealing AKP’s crisis

Turkey's authentic government style of one-man Executive Presidential Regime is experiencing a new crisis due to recent plummetting of the Turkish Lira which only...

Istanbul Mayor İmamoğlu’s Article on 97th Anniversary of the Republic

Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu penned an article for Karar Daily on the 97th anniversary of the Republic, "heading for the centennial of the...

13 years of resistance: Uzel Mechanics Workers demand justice

This week, Uzel Mechanics workers who stand for their rights for 13 years organized a press briefing in front of the Istanbul Çağlayan Justice...

Stress, Anxiety, Depression: Does the coronavirus pandemic leave a “mass trauma”?

Over the last seven months the Coronavirus and with it our physical health, determined all other aspects of life. Although the pandemic entails great...

Related News

International coalition starts Turkey press freedom mission

A coalition of 11 international press freedom, freedom of expression and journalists‘ organisations are leading a joint press freedom mission to Turkey this week...

Reporters Without Borders reacts against the “Social Media Regulations Bill” in Turkey

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns an amendment to the law on "Internet crimes" that Turkey’s government has submitted to parliament with the aim of...

“Press receiving foreign funding uses media power as a weapon against the state and the nation” Communications Director Altun

Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun targeted the media groups that receive funding from outside of Turkey to allegedly promote manipulative content against "our President's...

IPI condemnms conviction of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel

The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists for press freedom, today condemned the nearly three-year prison...

dokuz8NEWS’ flagship account @dokuz8haber has been restricted again on Twitter

On June 7, 2020 dokuz8NEWS' twitter account for its main Turkish publication channel dokuz8haber has been restricted again disallowing the editors to publish news...
- Advertisement -