Feb 15 2018

Turkish police seize Kurdish publisher’s stocks without warrant

Turkish police have unlawfully confiscated thousands of books as well as computers from a Kurdish publisher in the southeast Turkish city of Diyarbakır, the Kurdish news agency Kurdistan 24 reported on Thursday.

Over 30 anti-terror police arrived in armoured vehicles to raid Aram Publishing House at 6:00 am on Thursday, Aram’s editor-in-chief Ulaş Güldiken told Kurdistan 24.

The police proceeded to break down the publishers’ doors and confiscated around 3,000 books and three computers, despite not having a search warrant.

“They can ban a book, confiscate it from bookstores by law. However, the seizure of the books from our premises is totally illegal,” Güldiken was quoted as saying.

Many of the confiscated books had been banned in August 2017 during a single session of a trial against the publishers, according to Kurdistan 24’s report.

“There is systematic pressure on us, increasing in the past two years. A prosecutor once told our lawyer that he would not seek to close it down but rather make it so difficult for us to work that it would be worse than a simple shutdown,” Güldiken told Kurdistan 24.