The Belge Publishing House’s Director Ragip Zarakolu’s arrest marked the opening of the TÜYAP International Istanbul Book Fair on November 12, 2011.

Opening the fair, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Günay said: "I observe with great concern the developments in distinguished publisher Ragip Zarakolu’s arrest… We now have a new democratic constitution process ahead of us. I hope we can make amendments to the Anti-Terror Law that has the potential to create such examples of wrong interpretations and injustice without waiting for a new constitution to be written."

On this occasion, 24 writers whose books were published by the Belge issued a joint communiqué condemning Zarakolu’s arrest.

Stressing that Zarakolu has made invaluable contributions to the enlightenment of darkness, the writers say: "Publishing the books on Armenian, Assyrian, Kurdish and Hellenic histories and cultural values, Zarakolu has contributed to breaking taboos and recognition of each other by these peoples. He is also the reliable friend and supporter of all those who cannot express themselves freely, whose books, reviews and newspapers are forbidden, and all those who are in prison or in exile.  We, the undersigned living in various countries abroad whose books were published by the Belge Publishing House, condemn Zarakolu’s arrest as a ‘suspect of terrorism’ and ask his immediate release."

The joint communiqué, made public at the International Istanbul Book Fair, is signed by:

Abdülkadir Konuk – Germany
Dogan Akhanli – Germany
Dogan Özgüden – Belgium
Emine Erdem – Germany
Erdal Boyoglu – Austria
Fadil Öztürk – Germany
Faysal Dagli – Germany
Fevzi Karadeniz – France
Hasan Bildirici – Switzerland
Haydar Isik – Germany
Helmut Oberdiek – Germany
Hüseyin Erdem – Germany
Hüseyin Simsek – Austria
Kemal Yalçin – Germany
Lokman Kondakci – France
M.Sehmus Güzel – France
Mehdi Zana – Denmark
Mehmet Çetin – Holland
Mehmet Desde – Germany
Nuray Bayindir – France
Raffi Hermonn – France
Sabri Atman – Sweden
Sirri Ayhan – Germany
Süleyman Danisman – Switzerland
http://www.info-turk.be/

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