Turkish court bans three books on Kurdish history

Photo by Samuele Ghilardi (Flickr).

Three translated books on Kurdish history published by Turkey’s Avesta Yayıncılık have been banned by a local Turkish court on the grounds of “triggering hatred and hostility among the public with their content,” according to the publishing house’s Twitter account.

The books are “Le Mouvement National Kurde” (Kurdish National Movement) by Chris Kutschera; “Kurdistan and Kurd” by Abdul Rahman Ghassemlou; and “Vosstaniye Kurdov 1880 goda” (The uprising of the Kurds in 1880) by Yazidi author Jalil Jalile.

The local court made its ruling on Sept. 12, but the publishing house only announced it on Tuesday, adding that 10 other books were banned by local courts for the same reasons earlier this year.

Publisher Abdullah Keskin told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday that a judge at a Turkish court in C-Çukurca district of Hakkari province had given the ruling earlier this month. “Police came to Avesta today to inform me of the ban,” he said over the phone from İstanbul.

The books came to the attention of the court when Turkish officers at the rural Üzümlü Border Crossing with the Kurdistan Region in Iraq last month arrested a man identified as N.T. for carrying them in a cargo box.

Documents mentioned another book Turkish authorities had confiscated with the man, “the History of Kurdistan,” by the Russian National Academy of Sciences, which was already banned earlier this year.

Keskin said the man, later released, was hoping to take the books to a friend of his in  Duhok province in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq. The court papers said N. T. was arrested because of “suspicious behavior.”

When asked for a comment on the repeated bans on many books Avesta published, Keskin said he could only hope the grave situation would end soon. “I really don’t know what to say anymore. There is nothing that changes with words. We are going through difficult times,” he said.

In May, Turkish authorities banned nine Avesta books with topics ranging from genocide against the Kurds in Iraq, the late national leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani, the self-declared Republic of Kurdistan in the mid-20th century in Mahabad to Ezidi faith.

The Avesta publishing house has been in business for 24 years, mainly publishing books on Kurdish identity, culture, and history. (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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