Turkey


Ragip Zarakolu
BŁyŁkada, Turkey -
Ragip Zarakolu, born in 1948, is a Turkish human rights activist and publisher who has long faced legal harassment for publishing books on controversial subjects in Turkey, especially on minority and human rights in Turkey. In 1968 he began writing for "Ant" and "Yeni Ufuklar" magazines. Ragip Zarakolu was tried on charges of secret relations to Amnesty International. He spent five months in prison, before the charges were dropped. In 1972, Ragip Zarakolu was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment for his article in the journal Ant (Pledge) on Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnam War. He stayed in Selimiye Prison (Istanbul) and was released in 1974 following a general amnesty. On his release, Zarakolu refused to abandon his campaign for freedom of thought, striving for an "attitude of respect for different thoughts and cultures to become widespread in Turkey. In 1979, Ragip Zarakolu was one of the founders of the daily newspaper Demokrat and took responsibility for the news desk on foreign affairs. The paper was banned with the military coup on September 12, 1980, and Ragip Zarakolu was shortly imprisoned in 1982 in Demokrat in connection with this position. He was banned from leaving the country between 1971 and 1991. In 1986, he became one of 98 founders of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (HRA or in Turkish IHD). He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2012. Photo courtesy of http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/BOOKS/Pix/pictures/2011/11/2/1320233246881/Ragip-Zarakolu-007.jpg
 

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