Despite his imprisonment, Turkish author and journalist Ahmet Altan continues to speak his mind. His tireless critiques of Turkey’s Kurdish policy and the Armenian Genocide have earned him the Geschwister-Scholl Prize.
In September 2016, Ahmet Altan, founder of the now-banned Turkish newspaper Taraf, was arrested for the first time. The government in Ankara accused him of being a member of the Gülen movement, and thus of the coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
On February 16, 2018, the dissent journalist and author was sentenced to life in prison on a vague charge, an alleged “dissemination of a subliminal message” on a TV program a day before the coup.
“You can imprison me but you cannot keep me here. Because, like all writers, I have magic, I can pass through your walls with ease,” Altan wrote in I Will Never See the World Again, the 2018 book he penned in his cell in the maximum security Silivri Prison, and for which he is being awarded the prestigious Geschwister-Scholl literary prize on Monday.