Turkish Translator/Publisher on Trial

Last year, I reported on the trial of Turkish publisher İrfan Sancı and translator Süha Sertabiboğlu for their January 2011 publication of William S. Burroughs’s 1961 novel The Soft Machine (Yumuşak Makine), which received international notice, including in The Guardian, which both reported on the trial and published an editorial by Elif Shafak. After various postponements, the trial is set to continue tomorrow, March 13, 2012, at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse Çağlayan Adliyesi 2. The publisher (Hasan Basri Çiplak of Ayrinti Publishing) and translator (Funda Uncu) of Snuff by Chuck Palahniuk are also set to appear in court on similar charges. If convicted, all parties face prison terms of six months to three years under Turkish law.

The International Publishers Association issued a statement last October calling for all charges to be dropped, as did PEN International. Nonetheless, oppressive legal action against these publishing professionals continues.

To protest the trial, write to:

Mr Sadullah Ergin
Minister of Justice
06669 Kizilay
Fax: 00 90 312 419 3370

You may also contact Turkish Ambassador Namık Tan:
Turkish Embassy
2525 Massachusetts Avenue,
N.W Washington, D.C. 20008
Telephone:+1 202 612 67 00
+1 202 612 67 01
Fax:+1 202 612 67 44

P.S. When I called the Ambassador’s office just now I was instructed to send an e-mail to [email protected].

Update March 14: One of the expert witnesses failed to submit a report, so the trial has been postponed until May 8, 2012. That gives you more time to send letters of protest.

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  1. michel says:

    Setor Consular da Embaixada da Turquia no Brasil – Brasília – DF
    Endereço: SES Av. da Nações, quadra – 805, lote – 23 Cidade:Brasília Estado:Distrito Federal Cep:70452-900 Telefone:(0xx61) 3242-1850/3244-4840 Fax:(0xx61) 3242-1448

  2. schultzie says:

    You don’t say anywhere what they’ve been charged with. Presumably they published in the knowledge that they were breaking a law?

  3. If you follow the links to my earlier posts, you’ll find the charges in detail. The short version: “obscenity.”

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