“Free Zarakolu and his comrades in letters”

Last week, Abdullah Gul made the first state visit to the UK by a Turkish president since 1988. He was welcomed by the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and a 41-gun royal salute, before enjoying talks with PM David Cameron about strengthening the nations’ business and military ties and UK support for Turkey’s EU membership bid. Presumably, their discussions didn’t include the recent arrests of writer Ragip Zarakolu and several hundred other authors, journalists, human rights advocates and elected officials in Turkey, so Solidarity with Prisoners of Conscience in Turkey organised a meeting with the Kurdish Federation UK, KNK, and PiK in the Houses of Parliament, to bring much needed attention to the latest example of Turkish state terror. The meeting was hosted by Michael Connarty MP, and included this moving speech by Khatchatur Pilikian: Continue reading

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