Lale Gül considering leaving the country after fresh threats against her autobiography
Lale Gül, author of Ik ga leven (I am going to live), may leave the country temporarily due to fresh threats after the German translation of her book was released on Sunday, according to NU.nl. The 24-year-old explained to the news site that she is fearful of further threats when the English and French translations of her novel come out in the near future. “That’s why I’m thinking about going abroad for a while and writing there.”
Ik ga leven created controversy for discussing Islam in a negative light. Gül's work is a fictionalized account of her childhood in Amsterdam West where she grew up in a conservative Muslim family. After its publication early last year, the author received threats from individuals within strict Islamic circles. One of the more serious threats came from 19-year-old Oguz Ö.
Ö., who never read the book, was convicted by an Amsterdam court last October for making the threats against Gül, and for making other terrorist threats. He was sentenced to 12 months in a youth detention facility, five of which were probationary. He served most of his time in pre-trial detention and was later released.
“She had to go into hiding and no longer dared to walk the streets alone. She is a writer, an interpreter of the free word at heart,” the court said in its ruling at the time.
Despite her fears, Gül has vowed to keep writing. “I could choose to be forgotten after my first book and find another job. But this is what I want to do, especially because I notice that my book stirs up emotions in many people. Daily, I receive messages from those in a similar situation.”
Gül won the NS Audience Award in November 2021 for her work. It is not clear whether a sequel or film adaptation will be released.