Belgian daily newspaper Le Soir published a correction and apology after a translation mistake was made in an earlier interview given by Turkish author Aslı Erdoğan to an Italian newspaper. The sentence Le Soir published was “Turks are taught to hate Kurds from their first day at school.” After the Le Soir published a correction, its editor-in-chief Christophe Berti said:
“This text is a corrected version of the translation of an interview Aslı Erdoğan gave to our partner La Repubblica we published in our Lena supplement on Saturday. The first version had mistakes which distorted the meaning of the Turkish novelist’s words. We corrected these errors and have published the new version. Le Soir newspaper hereby openly apologizes to Aslı Erdoğan.”
“Due to a lynching campaign against myself because of a wrong translation that was attributed to me, I had previously made another statement and shared the actual words I used. I had also called on Le Soir newspaper, who published my statements with a wrong translation, both publicly and directly, to correct their mistakes. I hereby state that I expect the same sensitivity from all publications who published these wrong sentences and have not yet made any correction, or otherwise I will start legal proceedings,” Aslı Erdoğan said in a written statement.
The erroneous translation published by the Belgian daily had been picked up and re-published by many other newspapers. This provoked a lynching campaign against Erdoğan on social media in Turkey.
In an interview with the BBC, the Turkish writer denied using the words “hate” or “enmity” in the interview and headlines published by Le Soir. Instead, she said what she had discussed with La Repubblica was the ideology imposed by the Turkish education system.
Aslı Erdoğan has been living in Germany for two years.