On Tuesday (20 July), the Istanbul Public Prosecution opened a trial against Turkish Publisher Ragip Zarakolu and Kurdish writer N. Mehmet Güler under charges of "spreading propaganda of the PKK", the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, and "publishing the organization's statements" according to articles 6 and 7 of the Anti-Terror Law (TMY). The charges are based on writing and publishing the book entitled "The KCK File / Global State and Kurds without a State". The book was immediately banned and confiscated in May 2010, right after it had been published at the first Book Fair in Diyarbakir.
Prosecutor Hakan Karaali, send his indictment to the İstanbul 10th High Criminal Court and demanded a 3-year prison sentence according to article 6 and another five years imprisonment based on article 7 of the TMY. The first hearing of the trial is scheduled for 30 September.
Publisher Zarakolu and writer Güler did not accept the accusations. They claimed that they wanted to support a peaceful solution of the Kurdish question, help understanding and mutual empathy between the two communities.
Ragıp Zarakolu told the prosecutor that he is a member of the International Committee for Freedom of Publishing and that he has been writing freedom of expression reports for 15 years for the Turkish Publishers Association: "Without information, it is not possible to understand and find a solution to the question. The citizens have the right to be informed about all aspects of the question. Nobody has the right to impose the state discourse, neither the government, nor the courts. Propaganda is made by leaflets, declarations and papers. It is ridiculous to define a research book of 250 pages printed in an edition of 1,000 copies as propaganda", Zarakolu claimed.
Writer N. Mehmed Güler commented, "I worked on the Regional Kurdish Assemblies objectively and tried to give a short history of the Kurdish question, without being a supporter or opponent of any side. It is a current problem. Legal Kurdish parties were closed, more than 1,000 Kurdish mayors, former deputies, community leaders, political activists, members of city councils were arrested during last year. All citizens have the right to be informed about what is happening. I tried to be objective."
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