ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish authorities recently banned three books on the history of Kurdistan released by the Istanbul-based Avesta Publishing House on the grounds of “inciting hatred and enmity among the people,” publisher Abdullah Keskin told Kurdistan 24 on Tuesday.
Turkish language translations of the “Kurdish National Movement” by the French journalist couple Chris Kutschera, and “the Uprising of the Kurds in 1880” by the Russian-writing Yezidi Kurdish scholar Jalile Jalil were among the books banned for reprinting or distribution and ordered to be confiscated.
“Kurdistan and the Kurds,” was the third banned book penned originally in English by the late Kurdish leader Abdulrahman Ghassemlou who agents of the Islamic Republic of Iran assassinated in Austria’s Vienna three decades ago.
Official documents Keskin shared with Kurdistan 24 showed that a judge at a Turkish court in the Kurdish town of Cukurca had given the ruling earlier this month.
“Police came to Avesta today to inform me of the ban,” he said over the phone from Istanbul.
The books came to the attention of the court when Turkish officers at the rural Uzumlu Border Crossing with the Kurdistan Region 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 Kurdistan’s Duhok province.
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.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany