Monday, 14 April 2008

Fighting for free speech in Turkey

Excellent piece from BBC correspondent Sarah Rainsford in Turkey.

"Our society has traumas that we are avoiding.
Really, we should see a therapist!"

Ragip Zarakolu, Turkish publisher

[...] Ironically, the book Mr Zarakolu is currently being prosecuted for is among his least controversial. It tells how a Turkish official protected the author's Armenian grandmother in 1915 - a Turkish Oskar Schindler.

[...] Ragip Zarakolu relentlessly publishing books that delve into the darkest chapters of the past. And, despite the nationalist backlash, he is sure he is making a difference.

His books are read mainly by students and academics, but they have helped fuel a cautious discussion on topics that were once utterly off-limits.

[...] "My wife went to prison for publishing the first book here on the Armenian genocide. Now I plan to print that book again and to include the notes from her trial," Ragip Zarakolu confided.

"Fifteen years later we'll see what happens!" he said.

Full report is available here

*photo - by AP, via BBC

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