Posted on Twitter by @Erdal_Korkmaz, this photo shows one of many sketches of Ahmet Altan that adorn streets of Paris as part of a campaign by RSF.

Par Pierre Haski, Journaliste, président de Reporters sans frontières — 

Ahmet Altan est un journaliste et romancier turc réputé de 67 ans. Adresse actuelle : prison de Silivri, Istanbul. Je suis, depuis quelques jours, le «parrain» d’Ahmet Altan, bien qu’il n’ait pas réellement besoin d’un parrain, et encore moins besoin de qui que ce soit pour le défendre, il fait très bien ça lui-même…

Continue reading “Journalistes, nous sommes à leur côté”

Ahmet Altan’s celebrated novels Kılıç Yarası Gibi (Like a Sword Wound), İsyan Günlerinde Aşk (Love in the Days of Rebellion), Ölmek Kolaydır Sevmekten (Dying is Easier Than Loving), and a concluding novel, a sequel to the other three, will be published in world languages under the name “the Ottoman Quartet.”

Sandro Ferri, (who also publishes Elena Ferrante, the enigmatic author of the bestselling four-volume series Neapolitan Novels), has recently signed a deal with Altan to publish his books in English and Italian and sell translation rights of the four novels to other languages.

Continue reading “Ahmet Altan on world stage with the Ottoman Quartet”

On the publication of ”Scrittore e Assassino” in Italy, La Stampa reporter Marta Ottaviani interviewed Ahmet Altan. Banned from all written communication with the outside world, Altan responded to Ottaviani’s questions orally during his weekly one-hour visit with his lawyers at the Silivri Prison Number 9. Here is the full text of the interview in Italian. 

La Stampa – Tuttolibri / 28 January, 2017 Rome

Ahmet Altan si trova dietro le sbarre da quattro mesi senza che gli sia stata formulata un’accusa precisa, solo quella di aver mandato «messaggi subliminali» prima del fallito golpe dello scorso 15 luglio. Un motivo per il quale, in Turchia, sono finite in prigione o hanno perso il posto di lavoro migliaia di persone. TuttoLibri è riuscito a raggiungere Ahmet Altan nel carcere dove è rinchiuso tramite i suoi avvocati.

Continue reading ““Non so che ne sarà di me, scrivere mi dà speranza””

*Ahmet Altan was detained on September 10, 2016 on charges of giving ‘’subliminal messages’’ favoring a coup d’etat on a TV show that aired on the eve of the failed coup attempt of July 15 in Turkey. He is now under pre-trial arrest in Silivri Prison, where he is prohibited from all sorts of written correspondence with the outside world. Altan wrote this column on July 21, 2016 for the Greek newspaper, Ethnos. This English version was first published on P24Blog on November 20, 2016.

I have seen many coups.

I was just a child when I witnessed a military coup for the first time.

I was a young man at the time of the second coup.

They raided our house and arrested my father.

Arresting my father was not enough; they came once again towards morning, at the break of down, and searched the house… A weary soldier, holding in his hand a flamethrower taller than him, was standing guard by the window.

I remember a tall, arrogant officer pointing the books that were written by my father, sitting next to each other on a shelf of our library, to my mother, asking, “What are the books by this man are doing in your house?” and my mother, in an ice cold voice, responding, “this house belongs to the man who wrote these books.”

Then there were other coups and coup attempts.

But never in my life have I seen one that was as bloody and foolish as the coup attempt that took place last week.

Continue reading “Bloody night”

Judith Butler, Antonio Negri, Edgar Morin join signers of letter in support of Turkish writers; Roberto Saviano dedicates award to Altan brothers

K24 / September 16, 2016 Istanbul

Support for an international letter protesting the recent detention of Ahmet and Mehmet Altan and calling on end to the unjust persecution of writers in Turkey has continued to grow in the fourth day after the letter was made public.

On the fifth day of the Altan brothers’ detention, the letter has found 241 signatures from some of the world’s most well-known writers, intellectuals, academics, publishers and actors. The most recent signers include American philosopher Judith Butler, the celebrated Italian Marxist philosopher Antonio Negri –viewed as the leading theoretician for the left– and the French philosophers Edgar Morin, Jean-Luc Nancy and Judith Revel. Nobel laureates J.M. Coetzee, Herta Müller and Orhan Pamuk are among the original signatories of the letter.

Italian journalist and writer Roberto Saviano, who’d signed the support letter on the first day, won the prestigious M100 Sanssouci Media Award at the Sanssouci Colloquium in Potsdam, Germany on Sept. 15.

In his acceptance speech at the ceremony, where Chancellor Angela Merkel was also present, Saviano said he dedicated his award to Ahmet and Mehmet Altan.

Continue reading “Leading philosophers support Turkey’s writers”

Ahmet Altan: The government of this country has always chasing artists. Today, they do the same thing in a more violent manner. Because the current administration does not only hate art but also fears it.

Interviewed by Özlem Karahan. Published by K24 on 15 October 2015. Turkish version of the interview can be viewed here.

Ahmet Altan: Taking sides handicaps writing. Makes you get away from the truth. If you favor one of your characters over others, it doesn’t work. I am the God of my own book. And I have to be as good and as bad as God.

Interviewed by Feridun Andaç. Published in Cumhuriyet on 28 August 2015. Andaç’s analysis of the first three volumes of the Ottoman Quartet and his interview with Ahmet Altan can be read here in Turkish.


Ahmet Altan: I want to dedicate all my time to writing novels. I love writing novels. Your asking me if I will go back to journalism is like a man interrupting me as I am making love to ask me to push a cart. No, I don’t want to push the cart. I love making love, damn it! A novelist should not become a journalist. Any society that forces a novelist to become a journalist is a society with handicaps.

Çınar Oskay interviewed Ahmet Altan in March 2015 to discuss his then-recently published novel Ölmek Kolaydır Sevmekten. The interview, which also focused on the day’s political issues and Altan’s journalistic career was published in Hürriyet‘s Sunday supplement. The full text can be read here in Turkish.

Ahmet Altan: You begin each new novel with the same excitement, with the same desire, with the same pain, with the same fears, with the same sleeplessness, with the same tormentations, with the same self-bashing. One moment you say, ”Who am I? Nothing. I don’t exist. I’m not a writer.” A few minutes later, ”I am magnificient. There’s no one like me. I am out of this world. Who can write like this?” You live like a madman.

Moderated by Çiğdem Mater, this conversation with Ahmet Altan took place at the Mithat Alam Film Center of the Bosphorous University in Istanbul. The full text is here in Turkish.

Ahmet Altan’ın Son Oyun’u (Bahar Topçu/Yeşil Gazete)

Ahmet Altan’ın En Güzel Romanı (Doğan Yalçın/Kitap Eki)

Sıradan bir Tanrı’nın Olağanüstü Kitabı: Son Oyun (Yasemin Çongar/T24)

”Yazan sensen, bana neden kızıyorsun?” (Filiz Aygündüz/Milliyet Sanat)

Ahmet Altan’la Aşk Yaşamak (Elif Aktuğ/Akşam)

Guns, Love and Greed in Small-Town Turkey (Andrew Finkel/The Guardian)

Endgame by Ahmet Altan (Vanessa Piras/The Skinny)

Endgame by Ahmet Altan (OverDrive)

Ahmet Altan the journalist and Ahmet Altan the novelist face off in allegory of Turkey (Berk Özler/K24)

Ahmet Altan, “Scrittore e assassino” ed. 2017 (Marilia Piccone/Leggere a lume di candela) 

Da Atatürk a Erdogan: i mille volti della Turchia (Antonio Calabrò/Il Giorno)

Scrittore e assassino (Thriller Nord)

Scrittore e assassino (Elisabetta Bolondi/SoloLibri)

Un noir dalla Turchia (Internazionale)

Scrittore e assassino, il corpo a corpo con Dio di Ahmet Altan (Conchigliette)

Ahmet Altan – Scrittore e assassino (Contorni di noir)

La Turchia è un paradiso ma la politica l’ha spedita all’inferno (Marta Ottaviani/La Stampa – Tuttolibri)

Scrittore e assassino di Ahmet Altan. L’autore è un dio che crea (Lorenzo Moltedo/Art a part of Culture)

ENDGAME (Kirkus Reviews)

Endgame (Publishers Weekly)

Scrittore e assassino (Annarita Celentano/MangiaLibri)

Stylish, inventive, and deliciously dark (Library Journal–Starred review)

Endgame by Ahmet Altan (M.A. Orthofer/The Complete Review)

‘Endgame’ — a Turkish seaside noir by Ahmet Altan (Nathan Scott McNamara/The Washington Post)

Briefly Noted (The New Yorker)

Turchia, Iran e Stati Uniti nelle storie di Ahmet Altan e Ali Eskandarian (Lorenzo Mazzoni/Il Fatto Quotidiano)



”I think the true book lovers are not those who only search for the best, but those who find a personal way to enjoy all books whether they are good or bad.”

The Turkish original of Ahmet Altan’s essay which was published on 2 March 2016 can be read here.


First published in 2002, Aldatmak (Cheating) is Ahmet Altan’s seventh novel. Over two dozen editions of the book were printed by Can, Alkım and Everest in Turkey.

La référence aux valeurs européennes peut, quelles que soient les forces en présence, relancer un projet démocratique et consensuel.

Le Monde  12.06. 2007

La Turquie se dirige vers un grand règlement de comptes final. Cette situation n’est pas due, comme on pourrait le craindre, à un conflit de race ou de religion. Le pays est traversé d’une fracture plus fondamentale et plus dangereuse.

Nous avons aujourd’hui d’un côté une grande masse de gens qui ôtent leurs chaussures avant d’entrer dans une maison, des femmes qui se couvrent la tête, des garçons qui fréquentent les cafés pendant que les filles sont soumises à des règles extrêmement oppressives, des gens dont les foyers sont éclairés par des ampoules nues, qui apprécient une musique à mi-chemin entre la chanson populaire et l’arabesque, qui n’ont peut-être jamais lu un livre, n’ont jamais dansé, des hommes qui ne sont jamais allés au restaurant avec leur femme, n’ont jamais été au théâtre, ont très peu d’éducation et professent de fort sentiments religieux.

Continue reading “La Turquie au bord de l’implosion”