IPA calls for immediate release of Zarakolu

IPA calls for immediate release of Zarakolu

The International Publishers Association has called for the immediate release of its Freedom to Publish prizewinner in Istanbul following his incarceration by the Turkish authorities.

Ragip Zarakolu, the current chairman of the Turkish Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish committee and owner of the publisher Belge was arrested in Istanbul on Friday (28th October) and has been remanded in custody today following a 28-hour-long hearing.

Zarakolu was arrested along with 50 other people on Friday, to testify in a case against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), which is an alleged wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The IPA has said his detention is against Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights which allows people freedom of expression and marks an alarming increase in the use of anti-terror legislation to stifle publishing in Turkey.

Bjørn Smith-Simonsen, chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, said: “This man does not belong to prison, he deserves a Nobel Prize.”

Earlier today, the IPA said it had "serious concerns" over Zarakolu's arrest.