International Publishers Association (IPA) slammed Turkey’s decision to pull off books of three journalists and the punitive fine against Can Dündar and Erdem Gül.
The Geneva-based association described these moves as “another example of blatant political censorship” in Turkey, in a statement released on Dec. 21
Thus, IPA joined Turkish Publishers Association’s (TPA) critic on Turkey’s order to remove sale of books by Hasan Cemal, Tuğçe Tatari and Müslüm Yücel, “merely because they were found in the possession of people arrested on suspicion of being members of various outlawed political parties” according to the statement.
“These dangerous actions by the Turkish authorities, coupled with the arrests in November of two prominent journalists, Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, fit the pattern of a regime desperate to avoid scrutiny and possible criticism” urged Secretary General of the IPA, José Borghino,
Borghino reiterated a punitive fine to Ahmet Şık for allegedly “defaming” Binali Yıldırım, Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication in a book. He described the decision as “another clumsy attempt at censorship and intimidation that will only succeed in making the Turkish government and judiciary look ridiculous.”
The IPA statement underlined words of President of the TPA, Metin Celal, stressing the authors in question were “not terrorists nor do they write works in favour of terrorist organisations”.
“These decisions reveal yet again the current regime’s utter fear of words, because they realise that books are more powerful than weapons. Unfortunately, these actions damage our faith in the independence of the judiciary and only serve to perpetuate the worsening atmosphere of violence and oppression in our country” Metin Celal has said.
Books of Cemal and Tatari have been seized during an operation, in southeastern province of Gaziantep, to a cell of Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement (YDG-H). The court has ordered the seizure of the books, claiming they were spreading “terrorist propoganda" and encouraging "criminal activities", in early Dec. The books focus on Turkey's long-lasting Kurdish problem.