A note on: The Iskele Poetry Festival

An amazing week in Northern Cyprus visiting for the Iskele Poetry Festival with a great group of poets from all over the world. I've created a page with a detailed travelogue, with reading videos and many pictures www.stevenjfowler.com/iskele

"From the moment the festival organisers optimistically interpreted my middle initial J as standing for Joy, and popped that on the event poster that was dotted around the island, I knew this was going to be a memorable festival. As if often the case, the generosity of my hosts in Cyprus made this beautiful few days the beginning of many relationships and the catalyst for unique experiences. Thanks to Emel Kaya, Ruhsan İskifoğlu, Nurduran Duman and all who made it happen."

Turkish Solidarity poetry project - Solidaritypark

http://solidaritypark.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/they-will-have-dried-by-december/ my poem, the first post of the project, for my friends in Istanbul, Gonca Ozmen, Efe Duyan and others who I have met there and in London over the last three or four years. I've had the privilege to visit the city 3 times since 2010 and the courage of the protestors to maintain the secular and free nature of their nation will make a difference which will reverberate for generations to come. Their bravery and sacrifice will stand for something. 
"I cannot applaud tyranny, I can never love a tyrant." Turkish poet Mehmet Akif Ersoy, quoted by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on stage before a crowd of 10,000 on 6th June, 2013.
According to Alev Yaman and Erda Halisdemir, reporting for English PEN, Erdogan also invoked Ersoy’s epic Safahat and 13th century Anatolian Sufi humanist poet Yunus Emre. Poetry, then, is at the heart of the struggle in Turkey, and -- as with public space -- no government, politician or party should be able to claim control over the power of poetry to inspire, persuade and empathise. We as poets internationally propose a poetic #ResistTurkey / #OccupyGezi to celebrate both the spaces and discourses of freedom of expression, which Erdogan's government has repressed.
We offer our words in solidarity, as translations and inspirations drawn from the creative protests in words and actions taking place across Turkey, and we invite you to join us in doing the same.
Email your own poems or a poem written by someone else (if you are not a poet) as attachments, or send us a link if you've posted elsewhere, to: solidarityparkpoetry@gmail.com. Please submit no more than  three poems and include a short bio and an image that either reflects your thoughts on resistance or an author photo. We welcome poems in all languages, including sign languages and visual poetry. If you do have an English translation handy by a reputable translator then do send it along. Turkish-English and English-Turkish translators are also invited to get in touch!
"Come here, let's make peace, let's not be strangers to one another." Yunus Emre
Yours In Solidarity,
The Editors
Nia Davies, Sascha Akhtar, Sophie Mayer