Dozens of notable authors have signed a joint letter from PEN International and English PEN that urges Turkey to reverse its nationwide ban on Twitter. The social media site was blocked last week after audio recordings suggesting corruption among the country’s officials were leaked. Earlier in March, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had stated that he would not “leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook,” and on Thursday Turkish media outlets reported that YouTube had also been blocked in the country as well.
The letter, which champions “the freedom of words,” was signed by illustrious writers from Turkey and around the world, including Orhan Pamuk, Zadie Smith, Salman Rushdie, Graeme Gibson, Margaret Atwood and Karl Ove Knausgård, among others.
The open letter begins:
The letter goes on to urge Turkish authorities “to remember that this beautiful country will be stronger and happier when, and if, it appreciates pluralism, diversity and the freedom of words.”