Author Meral Şimşek said she accepted the prestigious Austrian Theodor Kramer Prize, which rewards writers in resistance or in exile, on behalf of Kurdish women, Fırat News Agency reported.
Şimşek and Austrian essayist Gerhard Fritz Oberschlick received their awards in a ceremony in Niederhollabrunn on Friday.
“I am being prosecuted in Turkish courts only because I am a Kurd. Now, I am in exile in Berlin. My country Kurdistan has been under invasion for centuries,” Şimşek said in her speech.
“I am accepting this prize awarded to me on behalf of all Kurdish women who have been massacred, raped in Kurdistan under Arabic, Persian and Turkish colonisation and women who now are resisting in jails, fighting at mountains,” said the author born in Diyarbakır.
Şimşek, who is a member of Kurdish PEN, faces a 15-year sentence in Turkey over charges of being a member of a terrorist organisation and engaging in terrorist propaganda.
PEN International last year launched a campaign for the female writer, after she fled to Greece and was pushed back to Turkey, where she was immediately sent to prison and was released eight days later.
Şimşek is a prize-winning author of three poetry books and her 2017 novel Pomegranate Stain tells the story of Şimşek’s family and sheds light on the plight of Kurdish people in Turkey in the 1990s.