‘Life, separated from the sun
There’s no direction here
But there is a way out
Always, a way out.’
- Ilhan Çomak
Ilhan Çomak has been imprisoned for 26 years. He is Turkey's longest-serving student prisoner.
Çomak was arrested in 1994 while studying geography at Istanbul University. After 19 days of continuous, heavy torture, he signed a statement saying that he had lit forest fires near Istanbul in the name of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Ilhan has always maintained his innocence. The statement signed in duress is the sole piece of evidence in this case.
Whilst in prison, he has written 8 poetry books. He is an honorary member of PEN Norway.
PEN Norway calls for his release, and has started a campaign for Ilhan Çomak. You can read more about it at ilhancomak.com
. Here, you can also read his poems and poems written for him by European poets.
We urge you to send a postcard to Ilhan Çomak! Write a few lines below in English or Turkish, and we will make sure it reaches Ilhan in prison.
Please do not write political statements, as this makes it hard to get into the prison. A letter of solidarity would mean a lot for a poet who still has four more long years in prison.