During its genocide commemorative services in 2009, the Pontic Club of the Kavala Prefecture of Greece invited well known Turkish editor and writer Ragip Zarkolou to honour the athletes of the "Pontus" Association of Anatolia College, Merzifounta (Merzifon).
In the Kavala Tech Educational Institution amphitheatre on the 22nd of May 2011 a minute’s silence was shown by attendees in memory of the victims of the Genocide. The event began with a speech by the president of the Kavala Club Mr. Haralampos Alexandridis. Theofanis Malkidis and Ragip Zarakolou then spoke on the Genocide.
In concluding the event, club dancers took part in a rendition of the ancient Greek war dance, the Pirihios.
Feeling a need to speak out about the Genocide, and in particular from the side of Turkish intellectuals and writers, we decided to produce a publication in Greek and English.
This volume includes the speech by Mr Haralampos Alexandridis, the presentation papers of Ragip Zarakolou titled “Turkey and People’s Genocide” and the presentation by Theofanis Malkidis titled “The Greek Genocide and International Community”. We also included the paper titled “The Independence Ideal and the Genocide of the Pontic Greeks” written by author Sait Cetinoglu, a colleague of Ragip Zarakolou.
The publication was funded by the Pontic Club of the Kavala Prefecture in its effort to shed light on historical, political and moral efforts towards recognition and the truth. At this point we would like to thank everyone for their cooperation in the publication of this book, in particular the two Turkish intellectuals who struggle towards the recognition of Genocide.
One of these intellectuals, Ragip Zarakolu, was arrested last week for those actions and has been sent to a high-security prison ahead of his trial.
Ragıp Zarakolu was born in 1948 in Büyükada close to Constantinople and grew up with members of the Greek and Armenian minority in Turkey.
The Belge Publishing House was established in Istanbul in 1977 by Zarakolu and his wife Ayşenur, and has been affected by 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.
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, short stories and 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
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, disseminated separatist propaganda, making propaganda for an illegal organization, insulting the institutions of the Turkish Republic, and others.
As of the 28th of October 2011, Ragip Zarakolou has been in prison for his ideas and for his struggle towards genocide recognition and human rights in Turkey.
Sait Çetinoglu was born in Trabzon and is an activist for human rights and a member of the Free University An¬kara Independent Initiative. He authored the book “Varlik Vergisi 1942-1944 - Ekonomik ve Kültürel Jenocid (Capital Tax 1942-1944- an Economic and Cultural Genocide)” based on his research. The book was published by Belge International Publishing House. He also coauthored with Fikret Bashkaya the research books: “İttihatçılıktan Kemalizme (From Unionists to Kemalists) and Türkiye’de “Azınlıklar” (The “Minorities” in Turkey) both published by Free University.
He authored the publications: “The ‘turkification’ of the Capital” and the Secret Agenda of the Union and Progress (İttihat ve Terakki'nin Gizli Ajandası) published in the series “Discussions on the Official History” and also authored lemmas in the Concepts Dictionary and Official Ideology on the topics of official ideology/official history, genocide, issues related to Turkish economic history, etc.
His works on “The 20 years Conscription to Work Battalions”- A Terror Act against the Minorities, The Assassination of Justice in 1909 at Cilicia and on various other topics will be published by Belge International Publishing House in the series Myths of Official History- Sayings and Truth.
Presently he is working on the research topic of the Development of the Turkish-Muslim wealth after the looting of the Greek and Armenian fortunes to be published in a book entitled “The Turkish Bourgoise and the Dark side of the Turkish Economy”. He has published articles on the Committee Union and Progress, Kemalism, The Nature of the Kemalist Regime, Armenian, Pontic Greek and Assyrian Genocides, The Turkish Economic Histiryand “Minorites” at various newspapers in Turkey as well as in the journals.
Dr Theofanis Malkidis of Alexandroupolis is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, which in 2007 recognized the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian Genocide. He has also raised awareness on the Genocide in Greece and abroad and his efforts have been rewarded by variable institutions.
In 2009 he spoke at the first commemoration event for the Greek Genocide outside the building of the United Nations (New York), and in 2010 he was invited by the Republic of Armenia to speak at the International Congress on the Convention on the Prevention and the Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
He edited the instructional handbook of Rοnald Levitski on the «Genocide of Greeks of Pontos» in the English language (The Pontian Society of Chicago Xeniteas) and he also translated it to Greek.
Among his papers and books are the following:
The policy of Greece and Turkey for Thrace, after their integration in NATO, The Armenian Genocide, The Greek minority in Albania (in Greek, English and Albanian), The Greek Genocide (in Greek, English, Russian, Italian, Spanish and Armenian).