ISTANBUL — Publisher and human rights activist Ragip Zarakolu, recently arrested in Turkey on terrorism-related charges, has sent his first letter from the Metris prison where he is being held.
Zarakolu writes that, “My arrest and the accusation of membership of an illegal organization are parts of a campaign aiming to intimidate all intellectuals and democrats of Turkey and particularly to deprive the Kurds of any support.”
Zarakolu said that during the raid to his house the police confiscated only few books as “evidences of crime” and found nothing about his so-called relations with any organization.
The books that confiscated as evidences of crime are the 2nd volume of Vatansiz Gazeteci (Stateless Journalist) by Dogan Özgüden, chief editor of Info-Türk, Habiba by Ender Öndes, Peace Process by Yüksel Genç, manuscripts three books about the Genocide of Armenians and the Armenian History.
He added that at the police headquarters, all his bank and credit cards were confiscated.
Reminding that he is invited as speaker to many conferences abroad, mainly next week to Berlin, later on to the US University Colgate, Los Angeles and Michigan, Zarakolu said: “The government should give them an answer explaining the real raison of my arrest.”
Zarakolu concluded his letter with the following appeal:
“During my interrogation, they did not ask any question about the organization of which I was accused of being a member. They questioned me only about the books that I wrote or edited for publication, the public meetings where I spoke or attended. I think that everybody should jointly react against this campaign of arrests that turns into a collective lynching. These illegal practices should be stopped,” Zarakolu writes in his letter from prison.