Publisher charged over U.S. reporter’s book on Kurds

Turkish Republic
State Security Court of the City of Istanbul
Chief Prosecutor

Presidency of the State Security Court

Abdullah Keskin, son of Ramazan and Selime, born 1969, in Nusaybin District, Mardin Province, registered in Yenituran district and residing in Istanbul, Beyoglu district, Mesrutiyet Street, number 1230/10

Crime: Separatist propaganda through publication in order to sabotage the indivisible integrity of the state and nation of the Republic of Turkey.

Date of Crime:

Concerned Article
: paragraph 1 of article 8 of law number 3713, article 36 of the Penal Code.

The documents of the preliminary investigation were studied.

It is understood that the accused, Abdullah Keskin, owner of the company Avesta Publication, Distribution, Advertising, Promotion and Music with headquarters in Istanbul, truly published the first edition in 2001 of “After Such Knowledge, What Forgiveness?– My Encounters in Kurdistan.”

The aforementioned book, subject of the crime, was studied:

On page 22 it says: “…then following the meandering Tigris river through endless plains to Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Turkish Kurdistan.”

On page 23 it says: “I’ve been awakened at dawn in a cheap city hotel in Turkish Kurdistan by sustained shooting only a few hundred yards away, then watched Turkish security forces go through neighborhood after neighborhood with all the violent efficiency of colonial troops answerable to no one. I’ve trudged through winter snows along smugglers’ mountain paths to listen to the nationalist fervor lurking beneath the relentlessly inculcated, half-baked Marxism of young, jejune Turkish Kurds who would have died by the thousands for an independent state.”

On page 25 it says: “At one recent point, Kurds in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey were all in simultaneous, but noncoordinated revolt. ….In 1991, the first Kurds in seven decades were elected to Turkey’s parliament as genuine representatives of Kurdish interests. Unsurprisingly, they lacked sufficient political skills to avoid isolation, arrest and imprisonment at the hands of a government dominated by Turkey’s armed forces. Their inexperience inadvertently helped prolong the very conflict in Turkish Kurdistan that they had hoped to end.”

On page 27 it says: “Modern Turkey has pursued policies aimed at obliterating the Kurds’ cultural as well as political identity for more than 70 years. In March 1924, less than a year after the creation of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s Turkish Republic, Kurdish culture, language, and even place-names were banned. Elevated to dogma was the assimilationist credo that any Kurd outside physical Kurdistan accepted the regime’s central ideological objective of “turkification” and in effect ceased being a Kurd, or, at least, a nationalist Kurd. …. For decades Turkey insisted that the Kurds were “mountain Turks” who lived in the “east and southeast,” not in any Kurdistan.”

On page 49 it says: “in the final days before the Kuwait war begain in January 1991, for example, hundreds of thousands of Turkish Kurds had fled their homes in southeastern Turkey. From the early morning to well after midnight, panicky families crammed the bus station in Diyarbakir, located four hours’ fast driving from the nearest Iraqi territory. Bus companies put on more and more buses but still could not meet the demand for passage to Ankara, Adana, Izmir, Istanbul, and other cities in western Turkey with large Kurdish communities. Late at night in the bus station, I watched desperate men sending wives and children off to other destinations, anywhere as long as it was outside Kurdish areas judged at risk.”

On page 309 it says: “All these hopes evaporated as successive governments after 1984 failed to end a burgeoning and ever more expensive civil war in Turkish Kurdistan.”

Considering this book overall, one sees that it speaks of a Kurdish nation and also of a Kurdish state within territories of the Turkish Republic. A map of Kurdistan has been drawn and published in the book, a map that contains certain districts, which are in the Turkish Republic. Hence it follows that separatist propaganda has been accomplished through this publication.

On behalf of the public prosecution, your court is requested to judge the accused in accordance with article 20 of law number 2845 and condemn him in accordance with the above mentioned articles

24 January 2002

Selahattin Demir
State Security Court of Istanbul

page equivalents in Turkish and U.S. editions:

page 12 Turkish = page 9 U.S
page 23 Turkish = page 10 U.S.
page 25 Turkish = page 13 U.S,
page 27 Turkish= page 14. U.S.,
page 49 Turkish =page 53 U.S.
page 309 Turkish=page 350 U.S.

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