Thursday, September 18, 2008

IPA Uses Award to Underscore Turkish Indimidation of Publishers

Turkey's tenure as the guest of honor at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair isn't going to sit well with everyone.

Just a month before the Fair is to open, the International Publishers Association has given its Freedom to Publish Prize to Turkish publisher Ragip Zarakolu.

According to the IPA's press release, Turkey has a tenuous relationship with the concept of freedom of speech and, since 2005, have brought more than 1,000 writers, publishers and journalists to court for various offences.

Ragıp Zarakolu is one such victim: He was recently convicted of "insulting Turkishness" for having published a book entitled "The Truth Will Set Us Free: Armenians and Turks Reconciled" by George Jerjian.

IPA President Ana María Cabanellas declared: “We sincerely hope this Prize will encourage him to continue. In giving publisher Ragıp Zarakolu the 2008 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize, we rise to honour the integrity, the steadfastness and the courage that he so marvellously demonstrates. In giving him the 2008 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize, we celebrate his humanity, his love of different cultures and his quest for truth and reconciliation."

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