Jul 21 2018

Ahmet Altan’s first photo from prison

Sanem Altan, the daughter of famous Turkish author and journalist Ahmet Altan, shared her father’s first photograph from prison on Saturday via social media.

The photos of father and daughter were taken during Sanem Altan’s visit to her father in Silivri prison.

“And this is a story from Silivri,” wrote Sanem Altan, adding a quote of her father comparing the temporality of life to the permanence of literature.

Ahmet Altan, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole, was charged with “using force and violence” to overthrow the government, and accused of having know in advance about the coup attempt in 2016. Ahmet Altan’s brother Mehmet Altan and journalist Nazlı Ilıcak were also sentenced to life in prison at the same trial, for being a part of the media wing of the Gülen movement, which Turkish government accuses of orchestrating the coup attempt. 

“The lower courts are relying on a television programme as an evidence from years ago, along with a piece he had published in Taraf newspaper six years ago. The life sentence is the Turkish version of a Kafka story, with no legal basis,” Sanem Altan told Ahval after her father was sentenced to life in prison. 

Columnist and academic Mehmet Altan was released on June 27 by an İstanbul regional court  conditional on his not leaving the country and checking in with police once a week. Altan, along with fellow journalist Şahin Alpay, had previously twice won rulings in favour of their release from Turkey’s Constitutional Court, and twice these rulings had been overturned by a lower court in violation of the usual judicial hierarchy.