October 25, 2007

In Solidarity and Support

We hereby cross-post this call for solidarity, as it appeared on George Stratis' blog:

"Dear friends,

Recently attacks towards me coming from racist and fascistic circles in the Northern part of Cyprus took a different dimension and started heading towards a social lynch.

Until today, I did not show any reaction towards these attacks. There was no need to take these political attacks seriously. Although I was shown as a target and threatened through these attacks I believed in the support of the democratic forces in our community and I was thinking that the most beautiful response to them which were forwarded not only towards me but also towards my friends, was our life style and our writing. The last three years these attacks took a new course and they turned into a very open and vulgar sexual harassment. I kept silent even then, as many women would do on such occasions. Knowing that talking about them and objecting to them could even increase the victimisation of my gender. But recently things turned into a serious and unacceptable level. Extracts from my novel, of which the first edition was published in 2002 by Iletisim publications, were selected out of context, distorted and were presented as my own biography and transformed into instruments of sexual harassment against me. These attacks are both trying to degrade me in the eyes of the society through humiliation and “assassinate” me psychologically. These newspapers are read out every morning on TV programs, some of which are via satellite. In our small society in the Northern part of Cyprus, whoever I meet is talking about them. The Newspapers are in the hands of my students at the University.

I finally decided to take action. First, I will start a legal struggle and ask for a good amount of money. I wish that this case be primarily viewed as a case for the defence of literature and so be transformed into a platform for discussion of freedom of expression and creation. I want to turn this trial process into a festival on literature and the freedom to create and so refrain from presenting it merely as a court case about sexual harassment in which I will be placed as the centre. I know that I can do this only with your support, all of you my friends, the writers, the feminist and human rights activists. I wish that with the speeches we will make during the process of the court hearingsd and with the conferences we will organize outside we shall be defending literature and our right to creatively imagine. I also I dream that with the compensation money we will win we can organize a literary festival. At this stage what I need urgently is your psychological support.

I know that I am part of this beautiful family and I am sure that you will honor me with your support.

I embrace you with love.
Neşe Yaşın"

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