ARMENPRESS EXCLUSIVE: Nishanyan on Turkey prison break and asylum in Greece

Armenpress 12:53, 25 July, 2017

YEREVAN, JULY 25, ARMENPRESS. Sevan Nishanyan, the Istanbul-based ethnic Armenian scholar who escaped from prison on July 14, has requested asylum from Greece.

In an exclusive interview to ARMENPRESS, the scholar said he would like to visit Armenia after successfully completing the process.

Mr. Nishanyan, in one of your interviews you mentioned your current location to be Greece. Have you requested an asylum from Greek authorities?

We are beginning the process today. From the very beginning I viewed Greece as my second or third homeland, this is a very beautiful and civilized country. I would be very happy to spend the new phase of my life here.

The most frequently asked question is how did you manage to escape prison? How long did it take you to prepare for the prison break?

It was easy. There were no problems. We had planned 1.5 to 2 years, but practically these plans weren’t required. We just walked out.

After your escape you said everything is possible in Turkey through money. What is the current justice system like in Turkey?

The bureaucracy of Turkey is an absurd and unreasonable mechanism, which lives in an insane world of dreams. If one understands its logic, he can easily play it on his fingers.

You made a tweet about your prison break, saying “The bird flew away: Same wishes to the remaining 80 million”. But as far as I know your family is currently in Turkey. Aren’t you worried for them?

The 4 eldest of my sons are currently on their summer holidays in Turkey. They are mature and reasonable people. I don’t think that something can happen to them.

Even while imprisoned, you wrote books. Did you take those books with you?

I left my pants and shirt, but how could I have left my books and notes. I wrote a book about the history of the Turkish language, as well as dialogue on religion and religions. It will take a year to prepare for publishing. In addition, I wrote short book from my letters to my little girl, Anahit, although I’m not sure if I want to publish it.

Do you plan to visit Armenia in the future?

I would like to come to Armenia at the very first occasion when I will be able to legally travel. I received a lot of love and support from my friends in Armenia when I was in prison. There are many people whom I’d like to thank.

Interview by Araks Kasyan 

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