Meltem Arikan is a Complementary Mental Health Practioner and Turkish/Welsh author who has dedicated her life to write against the Patriarchal system and to fight for freedom of speech and expression. Arikan is known for her sharp critique of society and fearless and outspoken voice in all her novels, plays, poems and articles.
Arikan’s first short stories and essays were published between 1992 to 1995 in various literary journals. Her first novel was published in 1999. Her fourth novel Yeter Tenimi Acıtmayın (Stop Hurting My Flesh) was banned in early 2004 by the Committee to Protect Minors from Obscene Publications. The ban was lifted after had fight and Arıkan has been awarded “Freedom of Thought and Speech Award 2004” by the Turkish Publishers’ Association.
Arikan has written 11 books including 9 novels and 5 plays. She wrote the libretto for the short opera “Die Verführung Europas” which was staged as part of Theatre Freiburg’s large-scale multidisciplinary project “Eurotopia” in 2017. She has received several awards and was short-listed for the Freedom of Expression Award in 2014 by Index on Censorship for her play ‘Mi Minor’ which the Turkish authorities claimed was a rehearsal for the Gezi Park demonstrations in 2013. Their subsequent hate campaign, fuelled by state-sponsored media, forced her to leave Turkey to start living in Wales. In 2019 Turkish court accepts Gezi Indictment seeking life sentences for 16 people including her.
Since 2011 her articles are being published in various web sites in different countries including, News Junkie Post, Index on Censorship on a regular basis on the digital world, censorship, woman rights, child abuse, defending the freedom of expression, autism.
As an autistic, an exile, a female author who has experienced censorship, being heard and freely expressing her mind is very important for Arikan. She has found a new mode of expression through photography and her art over the last few years. She has been exploring a technique where she manipulates or destroys photographs and paintings. Arikan has taken photographs or painted to create an entirely new image. Her aim always to play on the viewer’s perception of colour and shape. She creates a fresh approach to perception, using strong colours, sometimes combining these images with words within the art.