Asiye’s Story

About the book:

Asiye’s Story is an account of her ambush by Turkey’s security forces, and the subsequent rape, torture and isolation that she was subjected to.  She was incarcerated in 1996 for more than five years for left-wing activism and editing an opposition magazine.  Asiye fought off suicidal urges, fear of dishonour and flashbacks before seeking treatment and making the decision to write her story.  Asiye risks serious consequences in Turkey for speaking out in this way, and her courage in doing so ought not to be dismissed.  

Asiye’s Story is more than a memoir that testifies to its author’s passionate and defiant will.  As she comes to re-define what ‘honour’ means, Asiye also connects her experience to that of thousands of women and men across the world.  For this reason, her story is a vital contribution to the struggle to bear witness to such human rights abuses all over the world.


Asiye’s Story is published by Saqi Books (£7.99)

Shirvan Nuray, Lucy Popescu and Asiye Guzel

Shirvan Nuray, Lucy Popescu and Asiye Guzel

Asiye Zeybek Guzal was released in 2002.  She fled to Sweden with the help of PEN, and was resentenced in absentia to another twelve and a half years in prison.  She remains in Sweden, where she declared political asylum.  She is currently writing another book.

Read the Writers in Prison Committee’s information on Asiye Guzel

Richard McKane

Richard McKane

Richard McKane is a poet, translator and interpreter.  He has translated over twelve poetry books from Russian, the most recent of which are Ten Russian Poets and Negar’s On the Wings Over the Horizon.  From the Turkish he has co-translated the works of Oktay Rifat and Nazim Hikmet.  His own poetry is published in Amphora for Metaphors, Poet for Poet, The Turkey Poems and most recently Coffee House Poems.  Last year, Richard McKane took part in Un tongue tied, an evening of performance poetry in translation at the ICA.


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