Journalist and publisher Ragip Zarakolu has been subject to a lifetime of harassment from the Turkish authorities. After graduating college in 1968, Zarakolu began writing for magazines such as Ant and Yeni Ufuklar, both of which focused on issues of social justice in Turkey. After the 1971 Coup he was imprisoned for three years for his writings. In 1977, Zarakolu and his wife Ayse Nur founded the Belge Publishing House which has been a focus for censorship since its inception. Zarakolu’s office was firebombed by an extremist rightist group in 1995. Zarakolu, in spite of many legal proceedings and his recent imprisonmentin the frame of KCK Trial, continues to write articles to the daily newspapers such as Birgün, Evrensel and Özgür Gündem. He is also the chairman of the Freedom to Publish Committee of the Publishers’ Union of Turkey (TYB) and member of the same committee of the International Publishers’ Association (IPA). The Journalists’ Association of Turkey (TGC) awarded him in 2007 as a prominent defender of the freedom of expression.
Earlier in October 2011, the EFJ condemned the arrestation of Ragip Zarakolu with 40 other people during a vast “anti-terrorism” operation called “KCK” conducted by units of Turkish special forces. As a special guest and witness, Mr Zarakolu will talk about this increasingly worrying situation in Turkey for journalists and writers today.
More information on the EFJ campaign pages :
The EFJ is the European group of the International Federation of Journalists
The EFJ represents over 300,000 journalists in 37 countries
For more information contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200