Ragyp Zarakolu Deserves The Nobel Prize, Not Prison

The arrest of publisher Ragyp Zarakolu provoked international criticism. The International Publishers Association and PEN International criticized the arrest. Their announcements “Zarakolu deserves the Nobel Prize instead of prison.”

The International Publishers Association (IPA) and the worldwide association of writers PEN International criticized the arrest of writer and publisher Ragyp Zarakolu. He was arrested on November 1st in the scope of a crackdown on the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that also included the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

IPA called for the immediate released of Zarakolu. “Ragyp Zarakolu is the pride of publishing. He is the limelight of freedom to publish in Turkey. (…) This man does not belong in prison, he deserves a Nobel Prize”, Bjorn Smoth-Simonsen, Chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committe (FTPC), said.

“The trial is likely to begin in a year’s time only. Ragyp Zarakolu’s health is not good. We fear that he will not stand his detention conditions in the terrible F-type (high security) prisons. This is an additional reason for the Turkish authorities to show compassion and release him immediately” the IPA urged.

PEN International described Zarakolu in their announcement as a person whose is being “respected internationally in the struggle for freedom of the writing and publishing”.

PEN American Center Freedom to Write Program Director Larry Siems said in an announcement. “It is essential not to confuse the efforts of those who, like Ragyp Zarakolu, have worked to bring down barriers of censorship in Turkey with those who press political agendas through violence. Zarakolu is an honored PEN colleague and an internationally recognized defender of the right to write and publish freely. We emphatically protest his arrest.”

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