Turkish authorities reverse previous decision in Ayaz Khoshyawashan case

PRESS RELEASE

Turkish authorities reverse previous decision in Ayaz Khoshyawashan case
Norwegian PEN look forward to welcoming Oslo´s new City of Asylum writer.

Iranian-Kurdish poet Ayaz Khoshyawashan, invited to Norway by Oslo city authorities as the citys new City of Asylum writer, was arrested on May 2. by Turkish security police in order to be returned to Iran.  The alleged reason was that he had travelled in and out of Turkey with false identity papers.

Norwegian PEN learned about the arrest the same day and immediately contacted the Norwegian Ministry of foreign Affairs, the ambassador for the European Union and  UNHCR in Ankara and International PEN.  Thanks to the action from all parts involved, among them several PEN-centres throughout the world who have approached the Turkish embassies in their respective countries, the Turkish security police have now admitted that Khoshyawashan has done nothing wrong.

Khoshyawashan is now under UN-protection.  A temporary passport with a visa to Norway will be issued shortly by the embassy in Ankara.  The Turkish refugee police have confirmed that, as soon as the passport with the visa has been issued, they will see to it that relevant state authorities provide him with permission to leave Turkey.  According to our sources this paperwork will take up to one month.

Oslo, 9. May 2005