COPENHAGEN — Publisher and human rights defender Ragip Zarakolu has been awarded PL Foundation Peace Prize for his extraordinary efforts in the areas of freedom of thought and expression.
Zarakolu will receive the award by PL Foundation President Poul Sögaard on November 10 in Copenhagen. PL Foundation Peace Prize is awarded to organizations and people who struggle for democracy without resorting to violence within the scope of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.
Zarakolu has published a number of books on the Armenian Genocide. He has visited the Armenian Genocide memorial complex on the sidelines of his numerous stopovers in Armenia.
Ragip Zarakolu was born in 1948 on Heybeliada, the second largest of the Prince Islands, in Istanbul. He started publishing with his wife, Ayse Nur Zarakolu in 1977. He never abandoned his struggle for “popularizing respect for different ideas and cultures in Turkey” despite pressures, his books being seized or destroyed, heavy fines and being sent to prison. Zarakolu serving as the President of Publishers’ Union of Turkey Committee of Free Publishing has worked on Kurdish question and condition of minorities in Turkey.
Zarakolu lastly was arrested together with his son Deniz Zarakolu within the scope of Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK) case* in 2011. He remained in prison until April 2012.