Brussels, 25 November 2016 — At its General Assembly in Strasbourg on Thursday (24 November), the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) was deeply concerned by news that the eminent Turkish novelist and human rights activist Aslı Erdoğan and linguist Necmiye Alpay had been rearrested on Wednesday (23 November), and charged with ‘membership of a terrorist organization’.

(L-R) Necmiye Alpay and Aslı Erdoğan

Supported by its partners the International Publishers Association (IPA) and the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF), both of which were represented at the General Assembly, the FEP calls on the Turkish government to immediately drop all charges against both women and release them unconditionally, along with all other detainees held in Turkey solely for exercising their fundamental human right of freedom of expression.

Turkey must “drop all charges against both women and release them unconditionally”

The FEP and its partners further urge the EU institutions to take a robust stance on the matter by insisting that the Turkish government free all prisoners of conscience.

The FEP and its partners firmly restate the fundamental importance of freedom of expression as the bedrock of democratic societies. This principle is also essential to the publishing sector and a non-negotiable value for the FEP, EIBF and IPA.