Turkish government closes 29 publishers

Turkish government closes 29 publishers

The Turkish government has closed 29 publishing houses in the country, according to the Turkish Publishers Association (TPA).

In a statement, translated into English on the International Publishers Association (IPA) website, the TPA said the government has shut down the publishers under the 'decree on necessary measures under the state of emergency and regulations regarding some institutions', published on 27th July 2016.

According to the organistion, all the publishers’ goods, assets, rights and documents have been transferred to the Turksh treasury, which will not be liable for any monies owed by these publishing houses.

The TPA said it “condemns” this “assault on parliamentary democracy, the government and the people”, adding: “The closure of 29 publishing houses and the potential closure of more carries the risk of human rights violations, the stifling of freedom of thought and expression and also irreparable financial and moral losses.”

Authors and translators will suffer, it said, because they will be unable to collect copyright money owed to them and “the publishing employees that made their living at any the 29 publishing houses, with no criminal involvement, will also be denied their rights, their jobs, and any outstanding wages”.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan thwarted a military coup last month but has since consolidated his power by dismissing public service workers from their jobs and cancelling more than 50,000 passports, according to the BBC.

The TPA said Erdogan has also closed three news agencies, 16 television stations, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers and 15 magazines.

In a statement, the IPA said it “fully supports” the TPA and called on Ankara to rescind the summary closure of the 29 publishing businesses.