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Asiye’s Story

Asiye’s Story

Foreword by Helen Bamber OBE

Translated by Richard McKane


9780863561948 May 2003 Paperback 128pp

About the Book

This book is Asiye Guzel’s account of her ambush by Turkey’s security forces and subsequent rape, torture and isolation. In 1996, she was incarcerated for more than five years in a Turkish jail for left-wing activism, including editing an opposition magazine.

Asiye fought off suicidal urges, intense fear of dishonour and stigma, and nightmarish flashbacks. Finally she decided to seek treatment, declare her experiences publicly and write her story. Speaking out as Asiye does in this book risks ugly consequences in Turkey as in many other countries. Her courage in doing so cannot 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.

About the Author

In 1996, Asiye Guzel was incarcerated for more than five years in a Turkish jail for left-wing activism, including editing an opposition magazine. She was released in 2002. She fled to Sweden with the aid of PEN, and was re-sentenced in absentia to twelve and a half years in prison. She remains in Sweden, where she declared political asylum.


‘A political memoir that articulates all that happened without shame ... courageous.’

‘Asiye’s rape, torture and maltreatment are described with searing and dignified clarity.’
New Statesman

‘One of the first detailed accounts of state-based sexual violence, it will encourage other women (and some men) to come forward and talk openly about their experience of rape and sexual abuse.’
The Times

'Asiye's courage shines through every page of this sensitive account ... as uplifting as it is harrowing.'
Anne Sebba

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