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Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Turkish Publisher Ragip Zarakolu Arrested

Belge Publishing House director Ragip Zarakolu was arrested on October 28th. Zarakolu, a 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 about the Armenian genocide. Larry Siems, director of the Freedom to Write program at the PEN 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.”

Here’s more from the release: “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 Friday also includes Büşra Ersanlı, a constitutional law expert and a member of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). Zarakolu’s son, Deniz Zarakolu, who is an editor at Belge Publishing House and a Ph.D. student at Bilgi University, was arrested on October 4. It is unclear whether charges have been filed against any of those arrested in Friday’s roundup.”

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Paulo Coelho Responds to Random House CA’s Excitement on Twitter

Author Paulo Coelho greeted Random House Canada’s enthusiasm about the upcoming English edition of Aleph with a joke: “You should be. You are my publishers…”

Here’s more about the novel: “Coelho reveals how a grave crisis of faith caused him to go in search of a path of spiritual renewal and growth. In order to get close to God again, he decided to start over: to travel, to experiment, to reconnect with people and the world. Between March and July 2006, letting himself be guided by signs, he travelled to various continents – Europe, Africa and Asia – on a journey through time and space, through past and present, in search of himself.”

In 2010, Aleph was published in Turkey and Brazil; it topped the bestseller list in Brazil. The title will be released worldwide in September. In March, Coelho polled his blog readers for their opinion on three different covers for the English edition. (via Sarah Wendell)

Turkish Publisher on Trial for Releasing Erotic Novel

Turkish publisher Irfan Sanci is on trial for breaking an anti-obscenity law. The Sel publisher released a translation of Guillaume Apollinaire‘s erotic novel, The Exploits of a Young Don Juan (Les Exploits d’un Jeune Don Juan).

According to The Guardian, the Geneva-based International Publishers Association will honor his efforts. He will receive an award from the organization’s Freedom to Publish committee on November 2nd at the Istanbul TUYAP book fair. Sanci’s reaction? “I am being punished in my own country but am also getting an international award. This is tragic.”

Apollinaire wrote poetry, plays, articles, and prose throughout his writing career. He published one of his most famous erotic titles, The Eleven Thousand Rods (Les Onze Mille Verges) in 1907. It was banned in France until 1970.