We, the writers of the Peace Committee of the International PEN are deeply concerned with the events in Turkey. The worldwide membership of PEN supports the democratic institutions and understands the failed military coup to be an unacceptable and deplorable act of violence unworthy of a modern democratic society.
It is therefore regrettable that the measures adopted by the government in the aftermath of the failed attempt represent an assault on democratic structures of the Turkish state.
Dismissal of thousands of judges, teachers, university professors, heads of cultural institutions and the ensuing arrests of writers and journalists compromise the foundations of that which the victims among the Turkish people and their government forces helped to salvage in the dramatic hours of the failed attempt. The scope and contents of the aftermath measures have gone beyond the means of the consolidation process. By all appearances they represent the persecution of political opponents, the dismantling of the democratic institutions of a modern state and an onslaught on free expressions of views and opinions guaranteed to the individuals by the constitution and the laws of the state. It is our strong belief that the crackdown of free expression and the persecution of political opponents paves the way to the new outbursts of violence and cannot lead the country to a lasting peace.
We call on the Turkish government, the Parliament and the president Mr. Erdoğan to put an end to all persecution of civilians whose function in society has nothing to do with martial and security concerns and allow the teachers, journalists and writers to freely and responsibly perform their services to the public.
Chair of the Writers for Peace Committee