Publishers' union awards jailed journalist, Kurdish publisher
ISTANBUL – Daily News with wires | 5/26/2011 12:00:00 AM | VERCİHAN ZİFLİOĞLU
Journalist Ahmet Şık arrested in connection with the Ergenekon coup-plot trials, and publisher Bedri Adanır, who prints books in Kurdish, have received the Freedom of Expression and Thought Award.
The Turkish Publishers’ Union, or TYB, has granted its Freedom of Expression and Thought Award to journalist Ahmet Şık, who was arrested in connection with the Ergenekon coup-plot trials, and publisher Bedri Adanır, who prints books in Kurdish.
“Our current situation is much worse than after the 1980 coup. Some 67 writers, publishers and journalists are awaiting trial in jails without a single indictment against them,” Metin Celal, the TYB board chairman, told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The supposed changes enacted upon Article 301, which criminalized insulting the Turkish state, are lies, according to Celal, adding there are laws much more catastrophic than Article 301, such as the Anti-Terror Law.
“If this award is still around, that means there is no freedom of thought in this country. Turkey wants to be a big power in the region, but Turkey has relevance in the world only in terms of its relationship with the global capital. We wish Turkey could be an exemplary country in terms of human rights and justice, rather than global capital,” said Ertuğrul Mavioğlu, who took the award on behalf of Şık, who could not attend the ceremony because he was still in prison.
“My brother did not kill a person, he merely published a book. Why is there so much fear about a book? He is being tried on anti–terrorism charges,” said Bedri Adanır’s sister Kadriye Adanır, adding that her brother has been held in a D-type prison in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır for a year and a half with his trial postponed to July 26.