By Asiye Guzel
Reviewed by Darren Guy
A woman is arrested and accused of being the editor of a left wing magazine; she is blindfolded and driven to a police station, questioned, then with her arms tied behind her back and naked she is hung from a wooden beam - they call this suspension torture.
Afterwards, unable to walk and still blindfolded she is held up again, this time when she is finally taken down, they hold her tight by the arms and legs and she is raped. She then spends five years on remand. This is not a novel, this is the modern-day story of Asiye Guzel, the former editor of Atilim - a Marxist magazine - and this treatment is the common reality suffered by political opponents of the Turkish state.
Asiye's Story is written by Asiye herself and is poetic, vivid and shocking. It takes us on her journey of horror, shame and loneliness through to comradeship and recovery. It shows us what support and love can do even in the most desperate and direst of circumstances, and how the British have a lot to learn from both the Turkish spirit and wisdom.
Given temporary release before her trial, Asiye fled to Sweden and was sentenced to twelve years in her absence - a not uncommon occurrence for political activists in Turkey. Her story is a reminder of why the rest of Europe must guard against racist reactions to asylum seekers and remain open to those seeking safety from tyranny.
Asiye's Story can be bought at News From Nowhere, 96 Bold St, Liverpool.