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A photo of Nurcan Kaya Nurcan Kaya

Literature Residency: Nurcan Kaya

From May to August 2022, we were delighted to welcome writer, lawyer, and human rights defender, Nurcan Kaya to the Goethe-Institut London for a Literature Residency in collaboration with English Pen.

Nurcan Kaya is a writer, lawyer, and human rights defender from Turkey. She specialises in human rights – in particular minority rights, equality, and anti-discrimination remedies under international human rights and European Union law. She has authored several reports and articles on minority rights, including Discrimination based on Colour, Ethnic Origin, Language, Religion and Belief in Turkey’s Education System. She is currently a columnist for Artı Gerçek, focusing on a wide range of issues, including women’s rights, peaceful protest, and minorities.

Nurcan Kaya arrived in London in May 2022 to take part in English PEN’s residency programme for international writers. The residency programme is an extension of their long-standing work with writers around the world, through our campaigns, translation, and public event programmes.

During her residency, Nurcan Kaya primarily focused on reading and writing. She worked on articles for publication, while also attending literary events and meeting NGOs and journalists based in London.

"I had studied in the UK and worked in London a long time ago. Too much has changed in London, in Turkey, and in my life since then. This has been a unique opportunity for me to be back to London, my beloved city, after many years with a different public profile and for a different purpose. The residency gave me the opportunity to relax, take a deep breath, think, read and write in a very peaceful environment. I have had access to libraries, books, materials and have met many people to discuss ideas. I have many more things in my mind to read and write about."

"I am very grateful to English PEN for inviting me to join the residency programme. This happened at such a critical time in my life. I thank all colleagues at English PEN who have made this a great visit for me. I also thank the Goethe-Institut London and all their staff members who have been great hosts and friends to me. All have made me feel at home."
Nurcan Kaya