Writers call on David Cameron to stop Turkey’s crackdown on freedom of speech | Books | The Guardian

The campaign by writers’ associations English PEN, Wales PEN Cymru and Scottish PEN comes amid growing persecution of journalists, writers and publishers in Turkey, with hundreds arrested, prosecuted or sacked over the past year.


In a letter to the prime minister, signed by 25 writers, the PEN branches warn that “over the past five months, intimidation, threats and even physical assaults against journalists, writers and publishers have become the norm”.


It asks Cameron to urge the Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, who is visiting London next week, “to ensure that his government acts in accordance with Turkey’s obligations to respect the right to freedom of expression”.


He added: “Absurd cases like the public health official prosecuted for a Facebook post comparing Erdogan to Gollum show a kind of sensitivity and vanity that suggests an incipient cult of personality.”


More than two dozen prominent writers, including David Hare, Tom Stoppard, Hari Kunzru, William Boyd, Ali Smith, and Monica Ali, have called on David Cameron to urge the Turkish government to halt its crackdown on freedom of speech.



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