Turkish Publishers Association released its report “Freedom to Publish Turkey” including right violations between June 2012 and 2013. “At least 27 authors, poets, translators, publishers are imprisoned in Turkey,” the report cited.
The report included the following chapters: “Lawsuits and Investigations against Books, Books Pulled Off the Shelf”, “Other Court Cases Against Writers”, “Lawsuits Against Comics”, “Censorship, Bans and Investigations Regarding Publications”, “Books as Crime Evidence”, “Pressures on Press”, “Pressures on Internet Publishing”, “Amendments to Law”, “European Court of Human Rights Rulings" and “Reports of International Organizations”.
The report listed some of the limitations on freedom to publish in Turkey as follows:
* 3 cartoonists faced prosecutions
* 15 books were banned by prosecutors
* At least 2 translators 11 publishers and 17 authors were ordered to stand trial
* Court verdicts on 17 books were postponed due to Turkey’s 3rd Judicial Package reforms.
* 1 defendant was acquitted concerning book trial.
* 1 prosecutor abandoned charges on a book trial.
* 2 publishers received penalties
* 5 institutions or publications were censured. Education Ministry issued censorship on 7 poems. Investigations were launched on educators who were using the following publications as textbooks: Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck) , My Sweet Orange Tree (Jose Mauro de Vasconcelos), Zıkkımın Kökü (Muzaffer İzgü), Ömer'in Çocukluğu and Çılgın Babam (Muallim Naci), Çatalhöyük Öyküleri-1 and Dünyamızın İlk Şafağı (Bilgin Adalı), Semerkand (Amin Maalof) and Communist Manifesto (Karl Marx).
According to the report, books have been used as crime evidence in various prosecutions in Turkey. It also included the cases of journalists who faced prosecution due to their journalism activities, concluding that several journalists were left unemployed during the process.
The report also referred to Google’s Transparency Report which cited that Turkey made 87 applications to block 8,751 content material on the web. Turkish officials and police authorities , on the other hand, submitted 70 applications for the removal of 1,287 content material on the web.
The report also reminded that some sentence were made available for probation within Turkey’s 3rd Judicial Package reforms, suspending all ban and seize orders on published materials dating until 5 January 2013. However, the report continued, some of publication bans on certain books returned in the meanwhile. (EA/BM)
* Click here to see the full report in English.
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