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Writer Düzkan surrenders to serve prison sentence for supporting Kurdish daily

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Feminist writer and journalist Ayşe Düzkan on Tuesday surrendered to authorities to serve an 18-month jail sentence handed down for acting as the symbolic editor-in-chief of the now-closed Kurdish Özgür Gündem newspaper for one day.

Düzkan previously announced in her column in the Yeni Yaşam daily that she would turn herself in, pointing out that more than 50,000 people are currently imprisoned in Turkey for political reasons.

“Around 150 of them are journalists. I say ‘around’ because the figure keeps changing,” she wrote.

The campaign of solidarity with Özgür Gündem was started on May 3, 2016 and ended on Aug. 7, 2016.

Turkish prosecutors launched investigations into 50 out of 56 symbolic editors-in-chief, and 37 of them have received prison sentences of varying length.

Among them, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Turkey representative Erol Önderoğlu, writer Ahmet Nesin and leading human rights activist Şebnem Korur Fincancı were jailed on June 20, 2016.

They were released pending trial 10 days later.

Also, writers Necmiye Alpay and Aslı Erdoğan were jailed for almost five months for serving as symbolic editors-in-chief of the Kurdish daily.

“The law is dying out in Turkey. In view of that, my imprisonment is a drop in the ocean,” Düzkan said before surrendering to authorities in the Bakırköy district of İstanbul, according to the Artı Gerçek news website.

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