IPA "serious concern" over Zarakolu arrest

IPA "serious concern" over Zarakolu arrest

The International Publishers Association has expressed "serious concern" over the arrest of its former Freedom to Publish prize winner Ragip Zarakolu in Turkey.

Zarakolu, who won the IPA’s Freedom to Publish prize in 2008, was arrested in Istanbul along with 50 other people on Friday (28th October), to testify in a case against the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), which is an alleged urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

Zarakolu and the other detainees were brought to court at 9am yesterday (30th October) and were still there this morning, according the IPA.

Zarakolu is the owner of Belge Publishing House and the current chairman of the Turkish Publishers Association’s Freedom to Publish Committee.

Bjorn Smith Simonsen, chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, said: "Ragip Zarakolu is a respected publisher worldwide. We note with serious concern his arrest on his way home. We are trying to find out more. So are the Turkish publishers. We sincerely hope that no charges will be brought against him."