In February, a Turkish court handed out a life sentence without parole to novelist Ahmet Altan, professor Mehmet Altan, and journalist Nazli Ilicak, along with three other media employees, for supposedly being involved in this summer’s coup attempt by sending “subliminal messages” on television. In the New York Times, Ahmet Altan writes about the sentence and his imprisonment: “We will spend the rest of our lives alone in a cell that is three meters long and three meters wide. We will be taken out to see the sunlight for one hour a day. We will never be pardoned and we will die in a prison cell. . . . I will never see the world again. I will never see a sky unframed by the walls of a courtyard.” In The Guardian, thirty-eight Nobel laureates have signed an open letter to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan condemning the unlawful conviction of the group.
The New Republic has named Rachel Rosenfelt as its publisher and vice-president. Rosenfelt is the founder and publisher of the New Inquiry, a director of the MA program in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism at the New School, and Verso Book’s creative director.
Author Tom Scocca is starting Hmm Daily, a blog of social and political commentary. The site will be part of Civil, a new online platform dedicated to independent journalism. Scocca talked to the Columbia Journalism Review about his hopes and plans for the site, which he sees as place to support new writers and an alternative to the New York Times op-ed page: “It’s an attempt to create something that’s going to give people a chance to do the things they haven’t had the chance to do, whether it’s because they don’t have the right credentials yet, or because they have ideas that don’t fit into the existing boxes for where ideas can be placed.”
Ta-Nehisi Coates has signed on to write the Captain America series for Marvel comics. In The Atlantic, he writes about his new gig, and the excitement and fear that goes along with it: “Two years ago I began taking up the childhood dream of writing comics. To say it is more difficult than it looks is to commit oneself to criminal understatement.” The first Coates-penned comic will be released on July 4th.