SDF’s seizure of Tabqa reveals ISIL and al-Qaeda books published freely in Turkey

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have revealed following their capture of Syrian town of Tabqa that the ideological indoctrination material for The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have been published in Turkey. It is reported by Birgün daily that, a book titled “Şehadet Yolunda Cihad Erleri – Jihad Soldiers on the Path to Martyrdom” written by Harun İlhan, which was seized in ISIL hideouts in Tabqa, shows Turkey as the place of the publication.

Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have seized many written documents and books originated from Turkey besides of massive weapons and ammunitions during their searches in the city following the capture of Tabqa after 50 days of fights.

According to the report, the book titled “Jihad Soldiers on the Path to Martyrdom” was published by “Küresel Kitap – Global Books” in İstanbul and printed by Step Ajans in Bağcılar district of the city. The publishing house has also an address in Fatih district and it has a branch in Ümraniye Bölükbaşı Publishers Bazaar.

Among the publications of the Küresel Kitap publishing house, there are lots of books with similar content that propagating the ideology of al-Qaeda and ISIL in Turkish. Birgün daily reported that the officials of the publishing house defended themselves and said that all books and publications are legal because they have been sealed with official bandroles by Turkish government.

Despite of the author Harun İlhan is a well-known al-Qaeda militant and the book openly calls for violence and savagery, it has been sold in several websites, unrestricted in Turkey under the rule of political Islamist Erdoğan regime.

Author of the book and al-Qaeda militant Harun İlhan was tried for the serial bomb attacks in İstanbul on November 15-20, 2003. He was given life sentence by a Turkish court in 2007. He confessed his crimes and defended violence against non-Muslims during his court hearings. Reportedly he stated in the court that “In this age, there is no other way than the sword against the infidels.”

Even the cover of the seized book in Tabqa openly calls for violence and savagery: “ (…) The air will smell of gunpowder, barrels will spew death…”

The book, which is legitimizing and propagating ISIL atrocities, is still legally published and sold in Turkey, despite of the slightest criticism targeting Erdoğan regime is criminalized. Harun İlhan’s ability to write the book with his own name and published it in 2012 as he has been in prison has become also an issue of discussion.

As the books and publishing houses which are propagating ISIL and al-Qaeda’s radical Islamist ideology and call for violence and terror freely in Turkey, the same country is the leading jailer of journalists in the world with one third of arrested journalists across the globe being held in Turkish jails.

Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 237 journalists are now in jails, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 215 are arrested pending trial, only 22 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 103 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey. Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the coup attempt.

May 16, 2016

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