Guardian: Even intellectuals exposed to Erdogan's brutal practices

The British newspaper "Guardian" reported that the Turkish Public Prosecutor opened an investigation with a number of novelists, including the famous writer Alif Shafak, the author of "The Forty Rules of Adoration," which the newspaper considered a strong threat to freedom of expression.

Alif Shafak told the Guardian newspaper that she has received many abusive messages over the last two days, while a prosecutor has asked to investigate her books, especially the "Insights" issued in 1999, and the "Three Girls of Eve" issued in 2016.

Shafak said, "The authorities in Turkey are now focusing on novels that contain stories about harassment of children, showing surprise for this, in particular that Turkey is witnessing an increase in the crimes against the women and children."

"The Turkish courts are not taking action in this context. The laws have not changed. In this country, when emergency measures have to be taken to deal with harassment, the authorities pursue the novelists," she said.

The newspaper pointed out that Shafak was prosecuted and acquitted in 2006 on the charge of "insulting Turkey," after one of the characters of her novels talked about the "Armenian massacre."

The novelist admitted that there were passages in her novels talking about harassment of children, but she stressed that did not mean that she urged her readers to do so.

She added talking about the authorities in Turkey, "They do not notice the difference. If a novelist writes about topics such as harassment of children, they cut off these passages of their books and considered them to defend these practices, so these charges for me are unfounded." She also explained that what was happening meant that from then on, the writers could not address these topics again.

The publisher of Shafak's books, Dogan confirmed, "She has always defended women, children and minorities' rights. Topics such as harassment are societal wounds, and the novels usually deal with community wounds. Shafak is one of the best Turkish novelists, who narrated the stories of the victims of these acts."

"We need a strong women movement and an awareness campaign, and literature can play an important role in this dialogue, but now they have been attacking the book," said Alif Shafak on the marriage of minors and other social problems.



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