Poetry Can Not Be Punished

September 07, 2019

On September 6 th , 2019, the main democratic opposition party CHP (People's Republican Party) Istanbul Chair Ms Canan Kaftancıoğlu was sentenced to 9 years and eight months in prison due to some tweets that included poetry quotations seven years ago. She was charged with several offenses including "insulting President Erdoğan" and "terrorist propaganda". The hearing was attended by PEN Turkey as well. After the final hearing, Ms Kaftancıoğlu criticised the accusations, the pre-determined judicial process, and she read a few more verses by Pir Sultan Abdal and Nazım Hikmet; both poets are remembered for their struggle for social justice and freedom.

We protest against the verdict, being convinced that her struggle for democratisation and persistence in the local elections led to the unfair governmental attack and verdict against her.

Some write poetry. Some read poetry.
Some become poetry!

No need for many words.
Thanks to her statements and deeds,
her interventions, courage and dedication,
Canan Kaftancıoğlu has become poetry.
Poets such as Pir Sultan and Nazım Hikmet
will always be free
even when they are executed, or
kept in prison, or sent to exile.
Poetry is freedom.
Poetry is free.
Poetry is resistance against injustice.
Canan Kaftancıoğlu is poetry.

Thank you for your concern, with our best wishes.

PEN Turkey

(How to pronounce the name Canan Kaftancıoğlu?
In Turkish
* ‘a’ is always as in ‘nun’;
* ‘c’ is always like ‘j’;
* ‘ı’ is different from ‘i’ (‘e’); it is like the sound
in the second syllable of ‘table’
*‘ğ’ (soft g) lengthens the preceding vowel.
Thank you for your effort.

Share button