They said: "We were informed that a press conference would be held here on the occasion of the anniversary of the publishing house’s destruction in 1978. We are here in order to protect Server Tanilli and Ragip Zarakolu who are supposed to speak at this meeting."

The publishing house’s staff was completely amazed by this claim because Professor Server Tanilli had died two weeks ago and Ragip Zarakolu is under arrest since 1st of November. So, they do not need any more to be protected by the police.

Furthermore, the publishing house was bombed not in 1978 but on December 3, 1994, together with the daily newspaper Özgür Ülke.

RSF Campaign in solidarity with Ragip Zarakolu

“In some countries, just using this computer could land you in prison” said Reporters Without Borders (RSF) as a slogan for the campaign against violation of expression rights in Turkey.

The campaign has continued since Ragip Zarakolu’s imprisonment on November 1st under the title "Turkey : At the forefront of imprisoning journalists until further notice".

The statement took place on the RSF’s web-site underlined that “Ragip Zarakolu is a respected journalist, well known internationally for his human rights campaigning” and continued as follows;

“He is also now a victim of the Turkish government’s misuse of ‘terrorism’ charges.

"On the 1st of November 2011, having defended the rights of minority Kurdish people in his writings, he was sent to the Metris Prison in Istanbul.

"So far, no official reason has been given for his arrest, but his lawyer reports that he was questioned about several articles he wrote in a pro-Kurdish newspaper, and about trips he’d made abroad.

The statement concluded with a call on people for help for Ragip Zarakolu who is 63 and not in the best of health.

There are also other campaigns for Vietnamese, Burmese and Syrian journalists, facing pressures during their work. (DIHA, December 9, 2011)
PEN Sweden ask to release Erbey and Zarakolu

The Swedish PEN has released a new press release calling on the Turkish authorities to release writer and lawyer Muhrarrem Erbey (in prison since December 2009) and writer and publisher Ragip Zarakolu.

The new release came as the new hearing of the trial in which Erbey is a defendant took place.

Ragip Zarakolu, a member of PEN Turkey and honorary member of Swedish PEN Centre, is a well known political activist who has been fighting for freedom of expression in Turkey for over 30 years, publishing books on issues such as minority and human rights. As one of the 50 writers chosen to represent the struggle for freedom of expression since 1960 for the Writers in Prison Committee’s 50th Anniversary Campaign – Because Writers Speak Their Minds – Ragip Zarakolu’s case is "emblematic of the ongoing struggles many writers, publishers and freedom of expression and human rights activists in Turkey continue to face", writes Ola Larsmo (Swedish PEN), Eugene Schoulgin (PEN International) and Mats Söderlund (Swedish Writers Association).

The writers "condemn the arrest of writer and academic Professor Büsra Ersanli, Deniz Zarakolu, and Ragip Zarakolu on charges that appear to be related to his peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression".

They call "for a full, impartial investigation into the arrests of other academics arrested under anti-terror legislation, including Aziz Tunç, Ayes Berktay and A. Dursun Yildiz".

And they also call on "the Turkish authorities to live up to their commitments to protect freedom of expression under Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights". (ANF, 7 December 2011)