Τετάρτη, 2 Νοεμβρίου 2011

Να ελευθερωθεί ο Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου- Free Ragip Zarakolu




Θεοφάνης Μαλκίδης


-Τουρκία: Το κράτος- φυλακή και ο εκδότης Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου.

-Να απελευθερωθεί ο Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου, αγωνιστής των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και της αναγνώρισης της Γενοκτονίας των Ελλήνων και των Αρμενίων και όλοι οι πολιτικοί κρατούμενοι


1. Το κράτος – πρωτεύουσα των φυλακών του πλανήτη


Φέτος συμπληρώνονται 40 χρόνια συνεχών δολοφονιών, αγνοουμένων, καταπίεσης, τυραννίας και λευκών κελιών στην Τουρκία.

Η Τουρκία κατατάσσεται μεταξύ των πρώτων χωρών, με κριτήριο τον αριθμό των φυλακών της. Διαθέτει 19 διαφορετικούς τύπους φυλακών, πάνω από 650 φυλακές και δεκάδες φυλακές τύπου F (λευκά κελιά). Συνολικά ο πληθυσμός των φυλακών της Τουρκίας ξεπερνάει τον πληθυσμό δέκα μεγάλων πόλεων!

Η Τουρκία έχει φυλακίσει χιλιάδες άνθρωποι για τις ιδέες τους μεταξύ των οποίων 18 δήμαρχοι, έξι βουλευτές και 70 δημοσιογράφοι.

Η επιχείρηση όμως φίμωσης των λαών της Τουρκίας εντάθηκε στις αρχές Οκτωβρίου όταν με πρόσχημα την κρίση στο Κουρδικό ζήτημα, το κράτος- φυλακή ανέλαβε μία νέα εκστρατεία εναντίον των πολιτών που αγωνίζονται για την ελευθερία και τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα.

Έχει γίνει η σύλληψη χιλιάδων ατόμων στα πλαίσια της υπόθεσης KCK (Ένωση των Κουρδικών Κοινοτήτων) και περισσότερο από εκατό μέλη του Κόμματος Ειρήνης και Δημοκρατίας -BDP, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της καθηγήτριας Δρ Buṣrā Iscanli, μέλος του διοικητικού συμβουλίου του BDP.

Ήδη πέντε Κούρδοι βουλευτές είναι στη φυλακή, η εκλογή ενός έκτου ακυρώθηκε από τις αρχές μετά τις εκλογές της 12ης Ιουνίου, ενώ η δικαιοσύνη θέλει να φυλακίσει και τους άλλους βουλευτές, δυνάμει του άρθρου 117 του νόμου περί πολιτικών κομμάτων.


Επίσης έγινε η σύλληψη του Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου., διευθυντή του εκδοτικού οίκου Belge Publishing ο οποίος ηγείται της επιτροπής για την Ελευθερία της δημοσίευσης της Ένωσης Εκδοτών της Τουρκίας (Tyb) του γιου του Cihan Deniz Zarakolu, μεταφραστή έργων όπως «Η Πολιτική Φιλοσοφία» του Thomas Hobbes, όπως και του συγγραφέα Tunc Aziz, γνωστού για το βιβλίο του σχετικά με τη σφαγή των Κούρδων στο Μαράς.



2. Ο αγωνιστής Ragip Zarakolou

Ο Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου γεννήθηκε το 1948 στην Πρίγκηπο, την περίοδο εκείνη ο πατέρας του, Remzi Zarakolu, ήταν ο κυβερνήτης στο νησί. Ο Zarakolou μεγάλωσε με μέλη της ελληνικής και της αρμενικής μειονότητας στην Τουρκία και από τα νεανικά του χρόνια έδειξε το ενδιαφέρον του για τους δύο αυτούς λαούς. Το 1977 ο Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου και η σύζυγός του Aysenur δημιουργούν τον εκδοτικό οίκο Belge, με έδρα στην Κωνσταντινούπολη. Aπό τότε οι εκδόσεις τους έχουν αποτελέσει το επίκεντρο για την τουρκική λογοκρισία και τους νόμους απαγόρευσης κυκλοφορίας. Με την έκδοση των πρώτων βιβλίων, απαγγέλθηκαν κατηγορίες κατά του ζεύγους, οδηγήθηκαν στη φυλακή, έγινε κατάσχεση και καταστροφή των βιβλίων, ενώ επιβλήθηκαν βαρύτατα πρόστιμα.

Ο κατάλογος των δημοσιεύσεων περιλαμβάνει βιβλία (μεταφράσεις) της ελληνικής λογοτεχνίας, ανάμεσά τους η Λωξάνδρα, το «Ματωμένα χώματα» της Δ. Σωτηρίου, για την εκδίωξη των Ελλήνων από την Κωνσταντινούπολη το 1955, για τον Πολιτισμό του Πόντου με συγγραφείς τον Ομέρ Ασάν, τον Γιώργο Ανδρεάδη, βιβλία σχετικά με τη Γενοκτονία των Αρμενίων και των Ασσυρίων, βιβλία για τους Κούρδους στην Τουρκία.

Ο Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου έχει τιμηθεί από διάφορους φορείς στο εξωτερικό (Διεθνής Ένωση συγγραφέων, Διεθνής Ένωση Εκδοτών, κ.α ) για τους αγώνες του για ελεύθερη έκφραση.
3. Απελευθέρωση του Ραγκίπ Ζαράκολου και όλων των πολιτικών κρατουμένων στην Τουρκία

Το τουρκικό κράτος καθημερινά βασανίζει και δολοφονεί αθώους πολίτες για τις πολιτικές τους πεποιθήσεις, την ώρα που πραγματοποιεί προπαγάνδα για το νέο δημοκρατικό της πρόσωπο, προκειμένου να ενταχθεί στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Είναι αυτονόητη υποχρέωσή μας η συνεχής καταδίκη και καταγγελία των εγκληματικών μεθόδων και πρακτικών του κράτους- φυλακή.

Ο Ζαράκολου αποτελεί ένα σημαντικό αγωνιστή των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και της ελευθερίας του λόγου στην Τουρκία και αποτελεί φωνή ανάδειξης των εγκλημάτων που σημειώθηκαν εναντίον των Ελλήνων, των Αρμενίων, των Κούρδων και των άλλων λαών.

Καλούμαστε όλοι να πράξουμε ό,τι είναι δυνατόν για να αποφυλακισθεί ο Ζαράκολου

Απευθυνόμαστε στους Έλληνες Βουλευτές, στα κόμματα, στην Τοπική Αυτοδιοίκηση, στους Δικηγορικούς Συλλόγους σε όλους τους συνδικαλιστικούς φορείς δημοσιογράφων και εκδοτών και φορείς εργαζόμενων, καθώς και σε κάθε δημοκράτη και προοδευτικό πολίτη.

Είναι καθήκον μας για έναν άνθρωπο που εδώ και χρόνια αγωνίζεται για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα και για την αναγνώριση της Γενοκτονίας των Ελλήνων, των Ασσυρίων και των Αρμενίων. Ένας αγώνας που έχει παρελθόν, συνέχεια και συνέπεια, στην Ελλάδα και σε όλον τον κόσμο. Πριν ένα χρόνο μίλησε στην Αθήνα και πριν λίγους μήνες στην Καβάλα για τα ζητήματα αυτά. Η παρουσίαση του κοινού μας έργου, στην ελληνική και αγγλική γλώσσα για τη γενοκτονία, Ζαράκολου- Τσετίνογλου- Μαλκίδης (Καβάλα 5 Νοεμβρίου 2011) θα γινόταν με τη δική του παρουσία. Τώρα έχουμε έναν ακόμη λόγο για την απελευθέρωσή του, για να συνεχίσει να είναι μαζί μας στον κοινό μας αγώνα μέχρι την τελική νίκη.


THEOFANIS MALKIDIS



FREE RAGIP ZARAKOLU



Publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu were taken under custody on October 28, 2011 within the framework of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) operation.

Forty one people had also been arrested around the same time under what is known as the Democratic Society Congress (Koma Civaken Kurdistan – KCK) operation that has been underway since 2009, leading to several hundred arrests and trials. The KCK is seen as the civil/political wing for and front of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and thus also illegal.

Ragip Zarakolu is a well-known human rights activist and director of Belge Publishing House in Turkey. He is also the chairman of the Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Committee of Turkey.

His son, Deniz Zarakolu, editor of the Belge Publishing House, Ph.D. student at Bilgi University, was arrested on October 4. According to the press, the number of detainees will still increase as the operation is still under way and it is unclear whether charges have been filed against any of those arrested in Friday’s roundup.”.

Zarakolu is 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, activist for human rights and Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocide, member of the Turkish PEN Center, has been targeted by the Turkish government for his refusal to yield to their censorship laws.

His legal battles began when he launched the publishing house in 1977 with his wife, Ayse Nur. They published books by political prisoners and nonfiction titles on the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocide, Kurdish issue, Greek culture in Pontus, Greek presence in Ottoman Empire, (See the last one Ragip Zarakolou –Sait Çetinoğlu Theofanis Malkidis THE GREEK GENOCIDE. Athens November 2011)

Larry Siems, director of the Freedom to Write program at the PEN -the worldwide association of writers- American Center, declared the organization’s mounting concern over “a disturbing acceleration of violations of the rights of Turkish and Kurdish activists, writers, and scholars. ……Turkish authorities have arrested up to 1,000 scholars, writers, publishers, and rights advocates during a two-year crackdown targeting activists who focus on Kurdish issues. This list of those arrested…. also includes Büşra Ersanlı, a constitutional law expert and a member of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)……..”

BDP Co-chairman Selahattin Demirtaş strongly criticized the new wave of detentions on Friday.

"We will not be able to talk about a healthy constitution-making process if we go ahead like this. We will have no party member who can join efforts for [drafting] a new constitution".

In view of the record of executions and torture of opponents and trade unionists which taints the history of modern Turkey, it is right to be worried about the fate of Ragip Zarakolu.

We are fully convinced of the innocence and moral probity of Ragip Zarakolu and demand the immediate and unconditional release of Ragip Zarakolu and all the others members of the Parliament, mayors, journalists and activists for human rights and freedom in Turkey.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS:

• Condemning the charges against Ragip Zarakolu and Professor Büşra Ersanli which appear to have resulted from his exercise of his right to free expression, and calling for his immediate release.

• Also expressing alarm at the arrests of Deniz Zarakolu, as well as the continued detention of Muharrem Erbey, and other writers and journalists accused for their affiliation with Kurdish political parties.

• Referring to concerns that the arrests flout international standards protecting the rights to freedom of expression and association as guaranteed by both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the European Convention on Human and Democratic Rights, to which Turkey is a signatory.

• Raising concerns that the trial are politically biased and do not conform to fair trial standards, and seeking assurances that these concerns are addressed as a matter of urgency.

SEND APPEALS TO:

Mr Sadullah Ergin

Minister of Justice

06669 Kizilay

Ankara

Turkey

Fax: 00 90 312 419 3370

His Excellency Mr Oguz OZGE

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey

6 Moonah Place

Yarralumla ACT 2600

Fax: (02) 6273 4402

RAGIP ZARAKOLU

Ragıp Zarakolu was born in 1948 on Büyükada close to Istanbul. At that time his father, Remzi Zarakolu, was the district governor on that island. Ragıp Zarakolu grew up with members of the Greek and Armenian minority in Turkey. In 1968 he began writing for "Ant" and "Yeni Ufuklar" magazines.

In 1971 a military junta assumed power in Turkey. Ragıp Zarakolu was tried on charges of secret relations to Amnesty International. He spent five months in prison, before the charges were dropped. In 1972 Ragıp Zarakolu was sentenced to 2 years' imprisonment for his article in the journal Ant (Pledge) on Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnam War. He stayed in Selimiye Prison (Istanbul) and was released in 1974 following a general amnestyOn his release Zarakolu refused to abandon his campaign for freedom of thought, striving for an "attitude of respect for different thoughts and cultures to become widespread in Turkey".

The Belge Publishing House, established in Istanbul in 1977 by Zarakolu and his wife Ayşenur, has been a focus for Turkish censorship laws ever since. Charges brought against the couple resulted in imprisonment for both Ayşenur and Ragıp Zarakolu, the wholesale confiscation and destruction of books and the imposition of heavy fines.

In 1979 Ragıp Zarakolu was one of the founders of the daily newspaper Demokrat and took responsibility for the news desk on foreign affairs. The paper was banned with the military coup of 12 September 1980 and Ragıp Zarakolu was shortly imprisoned in 1982 in connection with this position in Demokrat. He was banned from leaving the country between 1971 and 1991.[2] In 1986 he became one of 98 founders of the Human Rights Association in Turkey (HRA or in Turkish IHD). For some time Ragıp Zarakolu chaired the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN in Turkey. Currently (beginning of 2007) he chairs the Committee for Freedom of Publication in the Union of Publishers.

Until the military coup of 12 September 1980 Belge Publishing House mostly published academic and theoretical books. Afterwards Belge started to publish a series of books written by political prisoners. The series of 35 books consisted of poems, shorts stories, novels. The list of publications (see a list of selected publications below) include more than 10 books (translations) of Greek literature, 10 books on the Armenian Question and five books related to the Jews in Turkey. There are also a number of books dealing with the Kurds in Turkey He also has published several books on the Armenian Genocide, such as George Jerjian's The Truth Will Set Us Free: Armenians and Turks Reconciled and Professor Dora Sakayan's An Armenian Doctor in Turkey: Garabed Hatcherian: My Smyrna Ordeal of 1922 — which brought new criminal charges in 2005. In November 2007 Zarakolu published David Gaunt's book "Massacres, resistance, protectors" about the Assyrian Genocide in Turkish ("Katliamlar, Direniş, Koruyucular").

In 1995 the Belge Publishing House offices were firebombed by a far right group, forcing it to be housed in a cellar. Since his wife's death in 2002, Zarakolu continued to face further prosecutions.

Recent court cases against Ragıp Zarakolu and Belge Publishing House (until her death Ayşenur Zarakolu stood trial instead of him) include:

On 21 March Istanbul State Security Court (SSC) No. 1 heard the case of Ayşenur Zarakolu on charges of having disseminated separatist propaganda by publishing a book by Hüseyin Turhallı, former chairman of the Democracy Party (DEP) for Diyarbakır province, entitled Songs of Freedom. During the hearing her husband Ragıp Zarakolu stated that this would have been the 34th court case against his wife, if she had been alive. On 4 June Istanbul SSC dropped the charges against her after establishing that Hüseyin Turhallı was living in France and Ayşenur Zarakolu had died in January.

On 3 December Istanbul SSC acquitted Ragıp Zarakolu from charges under Article 312 TPC. The trial had been opened for his translation of the book The Regime of 12 September on Trial, written by Dr. Gazi Çağlar from Hannover University.

On 10 September, Istanbul Heavy Penal Court No. 14 (former Istanbul SSC No. 4) concluded the case launched against publisher Ragıp Zarakolu, owner of the newspaper Ülkede Özgür Gündem (Free Agenda in the Country), Ali Çelik Kasimogullari and editor-in-chief of the newspaper Mehmet Çolak in connection with an article titled Sana Ne (What’s that to you) that was published on 8 March 2003. The court sentenced Kasimogullari to a fine of TL 3.3 billion and Mehmet Çolak to 6 months’ imprisonment and a fine of TL 1.65 billion under Article 7/2 of the LFT (making propaganda for an illegal organization). Çolak’s sentence was commuted to a total fine of TL 3.73 billion. Zarakolu’s file was separated due to legal change made regarding Article 312 TPC. He was to be tried at a Penal Court.

Beyoglu Penal Court No. 2 heard the case on 2 March 2005 and adjourned the hearing to 12 May. Further hearings were held on 21 September and 11 October 2005. Result unknown.

Ragıp Zarakolu was indicted for the Turkish translation of Professor Dora Sakayan's book entitled An Armenian Doctor in Turkey. G. Hatcherian: My Smyrna Ordeal in 1922, Montreal 1997.[ According to the indictment, Zarakolu was to be sentenced following Article 301 new TPC (Article 159 of the former TPC). The first hearing was set for 21 September at Istanbul Penal Court No 2.

On 20 September Istanbul Penal Court No 2 continued to hear the case against Ragıp Zarakolu, owner of Belge Publishing House, in connection with the book about the Armenian genocide entitled The Truth Will Set Us Free written by the British writer George Jerjian. The hearing was adjourned to 22 November for investigation of the expert report. The charges related to Article 301 new TPC (of June 2005). The latest two cases were combined and further hearings were held on 21 November and 15 February, 19 April, 21 June and 14 December 2006. The next hearing was scheduled for 15 March 2007.

In June 2008, Zarakolu was found guilty of "insulting the institutions of the Turkish Republic" under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code for translating and publishing Jerjian's book. The judge sentenced him to five months in prison. However, the judge, citing Zarakolu's "good behavior", stated that the author may avoid imprisonment by paying a fine

Last, but not least, he was taken under custody on October 28, 2011 within the framework of the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) operation.

Ragıp Zarakolu was given the NOVIB/PEN Free Expression Award in 2003

In October 1998 Ayşenur Zarakolu was honoured by the International Publishers Association with the International Freedom to Publish Award. She could not attend the ceremony at Frankfurt Book Fair since her passport had been confiscated.

In September 2008, the same organization awarded Ragıp Zarakolu the 2008 IPA Freedom to Publish Prize to "[send] a message to the Turkish authorities that domestic legislation must be further amended to meet international freedom of expression standards".