ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) prevented 38 books from being sold at the annual Erbil International Book Fair for promoting radical ideologies, said a Kurdish official on Friday.
The 13th Erbil international Book Fair opened on Wednesday in the capital of the Kurdistan Region with Kurdish officials marking the cultural event.
Over 250 publishing companies from 35 countries around the world participate in the fair. The exhibition holds over 700,000 books in different languages, including Kurdish, Arabic, and English.
Books related to religion, namely Islam, are some of the top-selling books at the fair. The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), however, has prevented the event from publishing books that promote extremist ideologies.
“This year, we have prevented 38 books from being sold at the fair. All of them were local and brought from inside the Kurdistan Region,” Niyan Ahmed, Deputy Director General of printing and publication in the Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Culture and Youth, told Kurdistan 24.
The fair will run for ten days with curious minds coming from all parts of the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.
Ahmed mentioned that last year, the KRG prevented 200 books from being sold at the fair, which were also brought from inside the Kurdistan Region and abroad.
“At the fair, Islamic books have been sold the most compared to other types of books. Today, which is the third day of the fair, some Saudi publication centers have already finished selling all the batches they brought,” Ahmed added.
Following the emergence of the Islamic State (IS) in 2014, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has intensified efforts to combat radical ideologies at home, especially after dozens of local people from the Kurdish semi-autonomous region joined the jihadist group to wage jihad against the Kurdish Peshmerga forces.
Editing by Nadia Riva