Burhan Sonmez is a novelist and lawyer from Turkey. He is president of PEN International, the worldwide organisation of writers for freedom of expression. His novels have been translated into more than forty languages and received international prizes, including the EBRD Literature Prize, the Orhan Kemal Novel Award and Vaclav Havel Library Award. He translated the poetry book of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake into Turkish.
He received a Law degree from the University of Istanbul and worked as a lawyer before moving to Britain due to political reasons. Sonmez is a Senior Member of Hughes Hall and Trinity College, University of Cambridge. From Middle East Technical University in Ankara to The Università della Svizzera italiana in Lugano he has given lectures on literature and freedom of expression in various universities.
He has been on the judging panel of several events, including Inge Feltrinelli Prize and Geneva International Film Festival and written for press such as La Repubblica, Der Spiegel and The Guardian.