Police raid Belge Publishing House, seize 2,000 books in Istanbul
ISTANBULTurkish police raided Belge Publishing House in Istanbul on May 7, seizing 2,000 books, daily Cumhuriyet has reported.
Belge was raided due to alleged links to the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) in the Fatih district’s Cağaloğlu neighborhood, according to Cumhuriyet.
Police searched the publishing house after receiving a complaint that some books did not have a banderole, it said.
Police reportedly said they had an order to seize the books “Stateless Kurds” and “Decisions Tougher than Death” off the shelf.
Officers additionally seized hundreds of more books from the 1980s and 1990s despite the lack of any order to do so, the newspaper said.
After seizing the books, police also briefly detained Mehmet Ali Varış, an employee of the publishing house and released him later.
The publishing house was founded by Ragıp Zarakolu and Ayşe Zarakolu in 1977 and published books mostly about politics, economics, philosophy and human rights.
Ayşe Nur Zarakolu received the International Publishers Association (IPA) Freedom of Thought prize in 1998, while Ragıp Zarakolu received the IPA Freedom to Publish Award in 2008.
Ragıp Zarakolu was arrested in 2011 as part of an operation on Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), the umbrella organization of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), before being released in April 2012.