IPA Prix Voltaire given to Turkish publishers

IPA Prix Voltaire given to Turkish publishers

IPA Prix Voltaire given to Turkish publishers The Turkish publisher Turhan Günay of Cumhuriyet Books and the Turkish publishing house Evrensel have been named co-winners of the Geneva-based International Publishers Association’s (IPA) 2017 Prix Voltaire prize on Aug. 3.

“It is the first time in the prize’s 11-year history that it has been awarded to two separate recipients,” the International Publishers Association (IPA), the world’s largest federation of national, regional and specialist publishers’ associations said in a press release on August 3. 

The IPA Prix Voltaire, which comes with a prize of 10,000 Swiss Francs or $10,318, is awarded for courage in upholding the freedom to publish.

Turhan Günay, the editor of Cumhuriyet daily’s book review since 1985, who went on trial last week with sixteen other Cumhuriyet journalists on charges of aiding terror, was released from prison, along with six other defendants, on July 28 in an Istanbul court ruling after being held for more than 270 days.

Evrensel Publishing House, founded in 1988, was closed down in 2016 with a statutory decree under Turkey’s emergency rule, a move which had been criticized harshly by the IPA.

“The freedom to publish in Turkey is severely limited today and we chose to recognize the immense courage of Turkish publishers who dare to keep working, despite huge risks,” the chairman Kristenn Einarsson reportedly stated as the reason for the IPA Freedom to Publish Committee to award the prize to Günay and Evrensel.

“Both are deserving recipients of the IPA Prix Voltaire, for both embody the determination to publish freely in a country where the authorities will apparently stop at nothing to silence them,” the chairman noted.

The awards will be handed to the representatives of the recipients on the evening of Sept. 29 in a presentation at the Göteborg Book Fair, an annual event held in Göteborg, Sweden, since 1985.