Turkey’s largest religious publication group denied spot at Ramadan book fair

According to Özden Demir, general manager of the Kaynak Publishing Group, barring the largest religious books publisher in the country from the 34th Turkey Book and Culture Fair is discriminative. (Photo: Cihan)
According to Özden Demir, general manager of the Kaynak Publishing Group, barring the largest religious books publisher in the country from the 34th Turkey Book and Culture Fair is discriminative. (Photo: Cihan)


Date posted: June 19, 2015

Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs has refused to allocate an exhibit space at a Ramadan book fair to the country’s largest religious publication group over its affiliation with the Gülen movement, a faith-based movement with which the government has been waging a war for some time.

In an apparent politically motivated decision, the directorate, which has recently been under fire for being a tool for government favoritism, barred 20 publishing houses, including the Kaynak Kültür publishing group, from participating in the 34th Turkey Book and Culture Fair which started on Wednesday. The fair is organized by the directorate and the İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality’s cultural department, Kültür A.Ş, every Ramadan.

According to Özden Demir, general manager of the Kaynak Publishing Group, barring the largest publisher of religious books in the country from the 34th Turkey Book and Culture Fair is discriminatory. Demir told the Cihan news agency on Tuesday that the reason given for them not being allowed to participate in the fair is “limited space,” which he claims is completely without merit.

Demir said they were unable to register for space at the fair after being told by directorate officials of the decision. Demir also noted they have been participating in the fair every year since 2000 and have never faced any problem before.

The Kaynak publishing group consists dozens of publishers that put out books in different categories and languages. The group is also known as the publisher of books written by US-based Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who inspires the Gülen movement — popularly known as the Hizmet movement.

Since a major corruption probe became public on Dec. 17, 2013 implicating people close to the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), media outlets, publishing houses and even NGOs close to the Gülen movement have been targeted by the government.

The AK Party and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused sympathizers of the Gülen movement, especially those in the police force and the judiciary, of being part of a plot against the government by carrying out the graft probe. However, Erdoğan and AK Party circles have yet to present any concrete evidence proving their accusations. The movement has strongly denied all claims.

In a similar move last year, the directorate refused to allocate exhibit space at the same book fair to the Ufuk and Zaman Kitap publishing houses, which have ties to the Hizmet movement. It had also halved the square footage allocated to Kaynak.

Event officials claimed that they did not have enough room for all the publishing houses this year because the fair’s grounds, located in İstanbul’s Beyazıt district, were reduced in size as a result of a recent restoration project.

However the directorate allocated stands to the government-controlled Yeni Şafak and Star dailies — which were allegedly bought using a pool of money to which businessmen close to the government contributed — although neither publication is associated with a publishing house.

The directorate’s attitude is reminiscent of what was seen in the period that led to the Feb. 28, 1997 unarmed military intervention in Turkey. However, at that time, it was the publishers printing the Risale-i Nur collection written by Said Nursi, a prominent Islamic theologian, who were not allowed to participate in the fair.

Source: Today's Zaman , June 18, 2015


Related News

Erdoğan’s plan to contain corruption scandal

Despite the obstacles he has orchestrated for those pursuing the investigations, Erdoğan has never been able to gain enough traction to shift the debate away from corruption since Dec. 17. He must now be running on fumes.

Erdoğan…a factionist PM?

Now that the prime minister is battling a corruption scandal for which he is blaming the Hizmet movement, his new victims are Fethullah Gülen’s followers, who he calls “traitors.”

Former Turkish President Gül denies having any relationship with the Gülen movement or Fethullah Gülen but history tells…

In his answers, Gül denied having relations with neither the Gülen movement nor Fethullah Gülen. But, history tells the opposite: Gül attended many activities of the Gülen movement; he even hosted, in his official residence, students of Turkish schools from many countries during a Turkish Language and Culture Olympiad.

German spy agency chief says does not believe Gulen behind Turkey coup attempt

The Turkish government has failed to convince Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency that U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind last summer’s failed coup in Turkey, the BND head told a German magazine.

Gülen’s lawyer, Court of Appeals deny claims of AK Party official

“I think the ministry of justice went beyond its authority in making a change requiring the judges and prosecutors to inform the administration about investigations,” Akyol further added, urging everyone to keep the rule of law above political conflicts.

My Father, Academic, Arrested In Turkey Purge

13 days have passed since my father was taken from us by the police and we still did not have a chance to speak with him. His lawyers predict that it may take up to at least six months until he goes to the court. The most painful moment was when I saw in the news that 14 militants linked to ISIS, from whom the police captured AK-47s, were released on the same day. Turkey now views my father and his colleagues more dangerous than ISIS militants.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Countering Violent Extremism Symposium draws significant participation

Turkey’s Crackdown Extends to Taipei

Turkish asylum claims in Greece rise 40-fold in three years

4 people trying to escape persecution in Turkey missing after boat capsizes in Evros River

Young environmentalists awarded at 22nd INEPO

10 arrested for providing food and assistance to families of jailed Gülen followers

Local NGOs urge Georgian gov’t to avoid returning Turkish teacher back home

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News