Belge Publishing House Raided by Turkish Police


ISTANBUL (Public Radio of Armenia, Armenpress) — Turkish police on the night of Sunday, May 7, raided the Belge publishing house, searching the venue for about three hours, Turkish media report.

The officials reportedly prevented employees from leaving, seized a total of 2,170 books and briefly detained editor Mehmet Ali Varis.

The publishing house was raided on suspicion of having links to the far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/ Front (DHKP/C).

The Belge Publishing House was founded by Ragip Zarakolu and his late wife, Ayse Nur, in 1977.

Zarakolu has been writing and publishing about the Armenian Genocide since the early 1990’s. His ‘Belge’ print house has published over ten volumes on the topic, for which he and his family have been consistently persecuted and jailed by Turkish authorities.

On May 9, Member of Parliament Garo Paylan retorted on Twitter: “Belge Publishing House has written down the history of Turkey’s crimes. …  At least read the confiscated books.”

Zarakolu is known for recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Zarakolu has visited Armenia on numerous occasions, condemned the Armenian Genocide and urged the Turkish government to face the reality. Zarakolu is currently residing in Europe.