Meryem Sultan is a writer, translator, and activist from East Turkestan. She holds a degree in Uyghur Language and Literature and is an expert in Uyghur Linguistics and Uyghur- Mandarin translation. Meryem has published academic works, 18 short stories, over 50 poems, and two novels on a Uyghur literature website. She continues working on her books.
During her studies, Sultan worked on several translation projects in Xinjiang, involving both film and print media. She continued her education at Ankara University and while living in Turkey, she worked as a Mandarin Chinese- Turkish translator and Mandarin Chinese language teacher.
Sultan has also worked with EU projects, providing expertise in the Uyghur language and various dialects, as well as in Mandarin Chinese and Turkish.
Meryem Sultan joined Uyghur PEN in 2017 and in 2019 was the recipient of the Independent Chinese PEN Centre’s (ICPC) Lin Zhao Memorial Award.
As a result of being a high-profile Uyghur activist, Sultan has been threatened, harassed, and detained. In May 2023, Meryem arrived in Norway for her two-year ICORN residency in Lillehammer.
The town of Lillehammer has been an ICORN City of Refuge since 2008 and has a long history of supporting and promoting freedom of expression and literature, whether Norwegian or international. In 2017, Lillehammer was awarded the status of UNESCO City of Literature.
Since joining ICORN, Lillehammer has hosted seven writers, including Meryem Sultan. Previous ICORN residents in Lillehammer include Amani AboShabana, Mehdi Mousavi, Fatemeh Ekhtesari, Nama Jafari, Hai Ba Huynh, and Prudence Uriri.