The arrest of publisher Ragıp Zarakolu provoked international criticism. The International Publishers Association and PEN International criticized the arrest their announcements. Zarakolu deserved the Nobel Prize instead of prison, it was said.

The International Publishers Association (IPA) and the worldwide association of writers PEN International criticized the arrest of writer and publisher Ragıp Zarakolu. Zarakolu was arrested on 1 November in the scope of a crackdown on the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that also includes the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

IPA called for the immediate release of Zarakolu. ” Ragıp Zarakolu is the pride of publishing. He is the limelight of freedom to publish in Turkey. (…) This man does not belong to prison, he deserves a Nobel Prize.”, Bjorn Smith-Simonsen, Chair of IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee (FTPC), said.

“The trial is likely to begin in a year’s time only. Ragıp Zarakolu’s health is not good. We fear that he will not stand his detention conditions in the terrible F-type (high security) prisons. This is an additional reason for the Turkish authorities to show compassion and release him immediately”, the IPA urged.

PEN International described Zarakolu in their announcement as a person whose name is being “respected internationally in the struggle for freedom of writing and publishing”.

PEN American Center Freedom to Write Program Director Larry Siems said in an announcement, “It is essential not to confuse the efforts of those who, like Ragip Zarakolu, have worked to bring down barriers of censorship in Turkey with those who press political agendas through violence. Zarakolu is an honored PEN colleague and an internationally-recognized defender of the right to write and publish freely. We emphatically protest his arrest.”