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Author Aslı Erdoğan unable to accept award due to travel ban

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Turkish author Aslı Erdoğan, who was released on Dec. 29, 2016 after 132 days in jail due to links to the pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem daily, will not be able to attend a ceremony in Germany to accept the Erich Maria Remarque Award on Sept. 22 due to the imposition of a travel ban on her.

According to Hürriyet, the German ZDF 2 channel announced on Tuesday that the Erich Maria Remarque Award for 2017 was to be bestowed on Erdoğan for her writings on political developments in Turkey; however, she will not be able to attend the ceremony to accept the award as Turkish authorities seized her passport as part of a court decision banning her from traveling abroad.

After her arrest, Erdoğan received several awards from around the world, including the Stuttgart Peace Prize, the Tucholsky Prize and the ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture. She was not able to travel overseas to accept these awards, either, due to the travel ban. Some of them were presented to her in Turkey.

Renowned writer Erdoğan and several other intellectuals, journalists and academics were included in an indictment for serving as editorial board advisors of the pro-Kurdish newspaper. The indictment portrayed Özgür Gündem as a publication of “the terrorist organization,” in reference to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

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