Turkish Court Seeks International Warrant for Publisher Ragip Zarakolu

Ragıp Zarakolu
Ragıp Zarakolu

Ragıp Zarakolu

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (SCF)—A Turkish court has decided to seek an Interpol Red Notice for Ragıp Zarakolu, a publisher, writer, and free speech activist, as well as his extradition to Turkey on terrorism charges, the Evrensel daily reported on Wednesday.

[A Red Notice functions as an international arrest warrant. Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organization, circulates notices to member countries listing persons who are wanted for extradition].

Zarakolu, the founder of the Belge Publishing House in Turkey, has been living in Sweden since 2013.

In 2011, a case was launched against the publisher on charges of aiding and abetting a terrorist organization due to a speech he made at the Politics Academy of the now-defunct pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). He was arrested in October 2011 and released pending trial in April 2012.

The decision for an Interpol Red Notice and extradition request was made by a high criminal court in İstanbul six years after Zarakolu’s release from prison, Evrensel reported.

In a letter sent to the daily, Zarakolu said the Turkish court’s extradition request was an attempt to harass him.

“It is obvious that my continued defense of human rights, minority rights, free speech, and peace as well as expressing my views and my articles have disturbed some. They can be disturbed. I will move forward,” the publisher said in his letter.

He also called on the public to wage a campaign for the cancellation of the court’s decision before the next hearing on Sept. 28.

Zarakolu is a well-known political activist who has been fighting for freedom of expression in Turkey for over 30 years, publishing books on issues such as minority and human rights. He was given the NOVIB/PEN Free Expression Award in 2003.

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4 Comments

  1. Simon Shekerjian said:

    Ragip Zarakolu (Zarakoghlu), was a free person who says the truth about what happens. Years ago he published about the Armenian cause and the Genocide, his shop was exploded. Thank GOD that he and his wife were out and the shop was destroyed. Another great person talked about what happened to Armenians, but Thank GOD, he was out of Turkey and lives in the U.S. My parents were a Genocide Survivals.

  2. Z.Arzuman said:

    It seems Turkey and her corrupt president Erdogan have nothing else to worry but bland every body who opposes Erdogan as Terrorist. While the entire free and freedom loving countries consider Erdogan as a major “TERRORIST”. Once upon a time Erdogan blamed Gulen as a terrorist. Then Erdogan attacked all Kurdish freedom loving leaders as terrorist. It is time NATO, the EUROPEAN UNION and even the UNITED NATION to stop childish actions of corrupt president Erdogan of Turkey.

  3. Edward Demiraiakian said:

    All you folks are right to feel outrage. As do I. But I am comforted by history and my faith in it as a predictor of despotic outcome. This dictator will become more authritarian and will slide into more and more despotic behaviour. Sooner than we think, Erdoghan wiil make a mistake that will cost Turkey. Because Turkey, the Old “Sick Man of Europe, never got well. In its entire existance it has lived on the plunder of it subjects. and then it pluderred its allies. Germany, Bolshevik Russia, Germany again in WW2, United States after WW2 and now is courting Russia again. It is time to end the farce. Turkey is made up of over 20 major ethnic groups, all oppressed. Turkey was never one united country before the Islamic conquest. Turkey’s partition into its ethnic components will eliminate an Islamic Turkey, armed with Russian technology, marching and starting mini Syrias all around. Turkey has to evacuate Syria, evacuate Cyprus, Evacuate the majority Kurdish areas, Surrender to Western Armenian Administration the “Wilsonian grant” which the US was and is obligated to protect. Full financial compensation to all other ethnic groups that sufferred persecution and genocyde, such as the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Armenians, the Alewites, the Hemshins, the Pontian Greeks, the Jews, etc.

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