Set journalists free in Turkey: EFJ campaign update

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) continues their international campaign to set free all journalists in Turkey with a debate on press freedom in Turkey, featuring writer and publisher Ragip Zarakolu, and the EFJ vice-president, Philippe Leruth:

20 Dec 2012 – YouTube – EFJ debates about press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey.

20 Dec 2012 – Turquie : “Le thermomètre de la démocratie est cassé”, AJP

19 Dec 2012 – Photos – EFJ debates about press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey.

19 Dec 2012 – Turkey has more jailed reporters than China, Eritrea, Iran or Syria, Toronto Star

19 Dec 2012 – Turkey – world’s biggest prison for journalists, RSF Continue reading “Set journalists free in Turkey: EFJ campaign update”

Eyewitness in Turkey

Report by Tony Simpson of the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and Patrick Deboosere, Professor at Vrije Universiteit Brussels following their visit to Turkey as international observers of the KCK trials. The mass trial at Silivri is one of the largest ongoing trials, with more than 200 defendants. The accused include academic and constitutional law expert Dr Busra Ersanli, publisher Ragip Zarakolu and Kurdish members of the BDP.


A political purge is under way in Turkey. Since 2009, thousands of activists from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have been arrested in police raids and interned  in extended pre-trial detention. Following elections in June 2011, the BDP currently has 36 members of the Turkish Parliament, elected mainly with the support of Turkey’s substantial Kurdish minority. Continue reading “Eyewitness in Turkey”

Zarakolu: “ATL is a law that censors”

Ragip Zarakolu, well-known author and publisher who is facing 7.5-15 years in prison after being arrested last year in the scope of the KCK operations, makes a passionate argument against Turkish Anti-Terrror Law below on the first day of his trial:

PRESS CONFERENCE INVITATION: Freedom of Thought, Expression and Publication under serious threat.

Monday 2nd July 2012 at 16.00, TGC Headquarters Cağaloğlu


In its annual report seven years ago, the Writers Union of Turkey Freedom to Publish Committee made the following prediction:

“The newly proposed Anti Terror Law (ATL) contains very grave provisions that may put the freedom of thought, expression and the press, as well as the freedom to publish under threat”. Continue reading “Zarakolu: “ATL is a law that censors””

Zarakolu granted 2012 Freedom Award

Publisher, writer and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu, who was arrested in an October raid in Istanbul and is being held in a high security prison, has been granted the 2012 Freedom Award by the Info-Turk Foundation:

Info-Türk Foundation’s 2012 Freedom Award Granted to Ragip Zarakolu

Brussels, December 28, 2011

As a non-government organization contributing for over 38 years to the struggle for human rights and freedoms in Turkey, Info-Türk Foundation has decided to grant its 2012 Freedom Award to author, journalist, publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu* who is currently under arrest at the high security prison type-F  in Kocaeli. Continue reading “Zarakolu granted 2012 Freedom Award”

A new scandal: Printer convicted instead of writer and publisher

Info-Turk brings us some disturbing news on the one-year prison sentence handed down by Turkish authorities to Sadık Daşdöğen, owner of the Bertan Printing House which has printed several books published by Ragip Zarakolu’s Belge Publishing House:

17 December 2011

In Turkey, so-called democratic candidate to the European Union, where books are confiscated even before being printed and journalists imprisoned for simple articles of information, a new scandalous step has been taken by the detention of a printer. Continue reading “A new scandal: Printer convicted instead of writer and publisher”

Arrested publisher Zarakolu says he is in Kafkaesque novel

We have been following the arrest and imprisonment of Ragip Zarakolu and his colleagues closely in the last few weeks. He has now been in prison since 1 November, and has written a letter to Hurriyet Daily News about his detention, which we reproduce below:

29 November 2011, Hurriyet

Prominent publisher, writer and activist Ragip Zarakolu, who was arrested last month within the scope of the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) trials, wrote a letter to the Hürriyet Daily News from prison, casting light on his present condition. Continue reading “Arrested publisher Zarakolu says he is in Kafkaesque novel”

“Free Zarakolu and his comrades in letters”

Last week, Abdullah Gul made the first state visit to the UK by a Turkish president since 1988. He was welcomed by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and a 41-gun royal salute, before enjoying talks with PM David Cameron about strengthening the nations’ business and military ties and UK support for Turkey’s EU membership bid. Presumably, their discussions didn’t include the recent arrests of writer Ragip Zarakolu and several hundred other authors, journalists, human rights advocates and elected officials in Turkey, so Solidarity with Prisoners of Conscience in Turkey organised a meeting with the Kurdish Federation UK, KNK, and PiK in the Houses of Parliament, to bring much needed attention to the latest example of Turkish state terror. The meeting was hosted by Michael Connarty MP, and included this moving speech by Khatchatur Pilikian: Continue reading ““Free Zarakolu and his comrades in letters””

Letter to Clinton demands answers to US complicity in Turkey arrests

Former City of Pasadena Mayor and attorney William Paparian, and attorney Vartkes Yeghiayan, have written to Secretary of State Hilary Clinton protesting the arrest of Mr. Zarakolu and demanding a Congressional hearing in front of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Find the full text below. Continue reading “Letter to Clinton demands answers to US complicity in Turkey arrests”

Appeal and Protest against KCK Arrests

Bianet reports on the growing protests amongst Turkish academics and intellectuals over the recent KCK arrests:

04 November 2011

A bill of exception was handed to the Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court to appeal against the detention of 46 people who were arrested on 1 November in the course of the so-called KCK operation (Union of Kurdistan Communities). Prof Büşra Ersanlı and publisher and writer Ragıp Zarakolu are among the detainees. Continue reading “Appeal and Protest against KCK Arrests”