Book censorship in Turkey including Althusser, Spinoza and Camus

Thanks to G.M. Goshgarian for bringing this to my attention – Books come under suspicion in post-coup Turkey. This obviously needs to be seen in the wider context of Turkish politics, but seems indicative of what is being reported about academics and journalists more generally.

Ever since Turkey’s attempted 2016 coup, a growing number of books have been outlawed and confiscated, with some even being considered evidence for certain crimes. Publishers, authors and readers are deeply concerned. Istanbul - Buchmesse (DW/B. Ösay)

“Early in the morning, when we wanted to deliver the manuscript to the publishing house, we were arrested. All our notes that had something to do with the book, as well as all computers — in other words basically everything — was confiscated. We then decided to write the book anew in jail. As we were not allowed to use a computer or a typewriter, we wrote it all down with a pencil. As we were in different cells, we sent each other our texts.”…

… Following the coup attempt, a state of emergency was declared in Turkey. According to Turkish publishers, a total of 30 publishing houses have since been closed by decree, while more than 670 books have been confiscated for allegedly serving as “propaganda of a terror organization.”

Another 135,000 books have been banned from public libraries on the same or similar grounds. Some works by Louis Althusser, Server Tanilli and Nazım Hikmet have even been considered as evidence for criminal actions. Baruch Spinoza, one of the most renowned philosophers of the 17th century, as well as 20th century French writer and philosopher Albert Camus, have been accused of having been members of terror organizations. A farmer was arrested for owning their works, even though he himself is illiterate. [more here]

This entry was posted in Albert Camus, Baruch Spinoza, Louis Althusser, Politics, Publishing, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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