A new scandal: Printer convicted instead of writer and publisher

Info-Turk brings us some disturbing news on the one-year prison sentence handed down by Turkish authorities to Sadık Daşdöğen, owner of the Bertan Printing House which has printed several books published by Ragip Zarakolu’s Belge Publishing House:

17 December 2011

In Turkey, so-called democratic candidate to the European Union, where books are confiscated even before being printed and journalists imprisoned for simple articles of information, a new scandalous step has been taken by the detention of a printer.

A book entitled “Abdullah Öcalan With My Reminiscences”, written by Gülseren Aksoy and published by Abdulrrezak Güngör, director of Çetin Publishing House, was confiscated by justice in 2005. The Criminal Court N°14 has been carrying on trials against Aksoy and Güngör for “propaganda of a terrorist organization”.

Since two accused persons, Aksoy and Güngör, could not be arrested on these charges, the tribunal decided to try the owner of the Bertan Printing House, Sadık Daşdöğen, on the same charges and recently condemned him to a one-year prison and a fine of 782 Turkish Liras.

On this verdict, police raided the printing house on December 16 and took Daşdöğen into custody. He is at present jailed at the Metris Prison.

His lawyer Özcan Kiliç said that it is compatible neither with justice nor with reason and logic to imprison a printer instead of the writer and publisher of a book. He underlines that this verdict is against the principle of “personal responsibility in crime and punishment” recognized by the Constitution as well as to Article 11 of the Turkish Press Code. Qualifying Daşdöğen’s condemnation and arrest as “scandalous”, Kiliç said: ” It is evident that the justice in Turkey is under feet.”

Bertan Printing House is also printer of many books published by Zarakolu’s Belge Publishing House. (Info-Türk, Dec 17, 2011)

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