These are turbulent times for Turkey. The failed coup of 2016 sparked tensions, as writers and journalists experienced first-hand. Many intellectuals have been accused of “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and imprisoned, while others are targeted because of what they say and write. Three female Turkish writers address relevant topics such as freedom of opinion, diversity and migration, discussing them in the wider context of their country’s complex and rich history during a panel discussion moderated by Canan Marasligil.
This event is the Brussels preview of the Read My World literary festival in Amsterdam which will focus on Turkey this year.
Aylime Aslı Demir is a curator and writer who has been working since 2013 as the editor of KAOS GL Magazine, Turkey’s first and currently only LGBTIQ printed magazine. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on queer theory and LGBTIQ activism, collaborating with lecturers, the representatives of many religions, welfare workers and lawyers.
Karin Karakaşlı spent some time working for a Turkish-Armenian newspaper and currently writes novels, poetry and columns. Her stories about life in Istanbul and love earned her a third and a first place in the Gençlik Bookshop Short Story Competition (1994 and 1995) and the Yaşar Nabi Nayır Young Writers Prize (1998) respectively.
Sema Kaygusuz writes novels and scripts about identity and individuality. She strongly believes that literature can transcend language, nationality and religion. She has received several international awards for her work, including the Prix Balkanika, the Prix France-Turquie and the German Friedrich Rückert Prize.
Canan Marasligil is a writer, literary translator, editor, podcaster and curator based in Amsterdam. Her interest is in challenging official narratives and advocating freedom of expression through a wide range of creative projects and activities, from literature to film and comics. She is currently writing a book on the act of translation.