Prominent Turkish investigative journalist Fehim Taştekin, whose reports on Syria have attracted wide public interest, on Wednesday issued a statement on his Twitter account criticizing a court ruling that banned his book “Rojava/Kürtlerin Zamanı” (Rojava/Time of Kurds).
Following a verdict rendered by the Kahta Magistrate’s Court of Adıyaman province in eastern Turkey, Taştekin’s book was banned from public consumption due to accusations of terrorist propaganda. In his tweet Taştekin pointed to the absurdity of the court decision, which accuses the book of “having the properties of a terrorist organization.”
Underlining that his book was published legally and hadn’t been subject to any legal investigation in the meantime, Taştekin also criticized the fact that his book was considered evidence of “terrorist propaganda” to be used in indictments drafted for other people accused of “terror” crimes.
Regarding a ban on three books with critical political content, including that of Taştekin, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy and professor of constitutional law Mithat Sancar posed parliamentary questions to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, the Bianet news website reported on Thursday.
Referring to Article 28 of the Turkish Constitution, which states: “The press is free, it cannot be censored,” Sancar posed the following questions to the prime minister: “How can a book qualify as a terror organization? How many books are there currently whose distribution is banned in Turkey? Which books are these? Does banning the sale and distribution of the books comply with the constitution and international human rights laws? What sort of precautions do you plan to prevent such bans?”
The two other books ordered to be banned by the Kahta Magistrate’s Court are “Birakujî (Feud between Brothers) by Faysal Dağlı and “Kürt Tarihi” (Kurdish History) by Aytekin Gezici, also related to the Kurdish issue.