Author, journalist and Women in the World panelist Ece Temelkuran has her debut novel, Women Who Blow On Knots, coming out later this month. To mark the occasion, Temelkuran wrote an interesting meditation on what, in part, led her to embark a novel in the first place: Her experiences after she was fired from her job as a columnist in Turkey for writing articles that were critical of President Erdo?an. Temelkuran recalls being in Tunis and subjected to jarring character assassinations and harassment from anonymous tormentors on Twitter. She draws parallels from the abject abuse she experienced to the brand of misogyny currently on the rise all around the world — from the sexism that foiled Hillary Clinton’s White House bid to The Daily Mail tabloid paper reducing a pivotal meeting between British Prime Minister Theresa May and Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to whose legs looked better.
“I feel obliged to say it. A war is coming. A war our grandmothers fought and we thought had been won for good, will repeat itself in a different shape,” Temelkuran predicts, and not just in places like Turkey, where secular women’s rights are evaporating more rapidly than in other places. “We will have to forge new swords for the post-truth age where there will be no fair play and we will have to discover new ways to cultivate our heart-shaped gardens,” Temelkuran writes.
Last month, Temelkuran took part in a panel on the opening night of the 8th Annual Women in the World Summit where journalists addressed the growing crackdown on free speech and the media happening in all corners of the planet. “It is almost like [an] empire of fear,” she said of the atmosphere Erdo?an has created in Turkey. Watch the full panel and the highlights below.
Read Temelkuran’s full essay at the Asian Review of Books.