ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – Turkish police on Saturday arrested two Kurdish authors early in the morning in Diyarbakir and Istanbul.
Kurdistan24 Diyarbakir bureau said police arrested poet, critic, and editor-in-chief of the Kurdish Çirûsk magazine Renas Jiyan in a raid on his house.
The arrest was part of an ongoing investigation against a group of teachers who are members of the leftist Egitim-Sen Union.
Jiyan, popular among university students for his post-modernist approach to Kurdish poetry, has published dozens of books and hundreds of poems since the late 1990s.
In another house raid in Istanbul, police units arrested the award-winning Kurdish author Murat Ozyasar who writes fiction in the Turkish language.
Sibel Oral, a journalist, and Ozyasar’s wife broke the news on Twitter adding that anti-terror police took him to an Istanbul airport for a flight to Diyarbakir where a prosecutor is expected to question him.
Ozyasar’s publisher Dogan Kitap condemned the arrest and demanded freedom for its writer in an official Facebook page statement.
Charges against both Jiyan and Ozyasar remained unknown.
Meanwhile, again in Diyarbakir, a Turkish court freed the editor-in-chief of the Kurdish literary magazine Zarema, Fahriye Adsay, after four days of detention.
Sidki Zilan, a Diyarbakir-based lawyer who followed Adsay’s case, told Kurdistan24 the court imposed a travel ban to abroad on the author.
In a phone call with Kurdistan24, Adsay, who is also a translator, stated her smartphone, personal computer, and hard disks remained in the hands of police.
“The only thing I am worried about is my translations, writings, and some yet to be published issues of our magazine,” Adsay stated. “I am not sure if the police will hand them back to me.”
Adsay, initially charged with “propaganda for a terror organization,” also said the police revealed to her that she had been under their watch since 2012.
“They were listening to my phone calls and watching my Facebook page,” Adsay added.
She explained that Turkish police apparently did not care about the content of her posts but rather focused on specific words and phrases in them such as “Ocalan” or “self-rule.”
“It does not matter if I am critical of PKK or its policies. If you are a politicized Kurd, if you are doing something for Kurdishness, they associate you with PKK. They don’t differentiate,” complained Adsay.
On the arrest of Jiyan and Ozyasar, Adsay affirmed she thought the two authors would be facing various accusations simply because of their views.
The crackdown on Kurdish literary circles comes amid the news of the cancellation of Turkey’s first Kurdish children’s TV from the national satellite network, closure of a theater group in the city of Batman, and shutting down of a kindergarten that provided education in Kurdish in the Wan Province.
Earlier in September, government-appointed trustees removed Kurdish signboards from local municipalities seized by the Ministry of Interior.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany