A Hair’s Breadth From Death (Turkish Version)
Here is the digital copy of “A Hair’s Breadth From Death” translated into Turkish and available as a free download by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking the “DOWNLOAD PDF” icon.
More About Ragip Zarakolu (from Wikipedia)
Ragıp Zarakolu was born in 1948 on Büyükada close to Istanbul. At that time his father, Remzi Zarakolu, was the district governor on that island. Ragıp Zarakolu grew up with members of the Greek and Armenian minority in Turkey. In 1968 he began writing for “Ant” and “Yeni Ufuklar” magazines.
In 1971 a military junta assumed power in Turkey. Ragıp Zarakolu was tried on charges of secret relations to Amnesty International. He spent five months in prison, before the charges were dropped. In 1972 Ragıp Zarakolu was sentenced to 2 years’ imprisonment for his article in the journal Ant (Pledge) on Ho Chi Minh and the Vietnam War. He stayed in Selimiye Prison (Istanbul) and was released in 1974 following a general amnesty. On his release Zarakolu refused to abandon his campaign for freedom of thought, striving for an “attitude of respect for different thoughts and cultures to become widespread in Turkey”.
The Belge Publishing House, established in Istanbul in 1977 by Zarakolu and his wife Ayşenur, has been a focus for Turkish censorship laws ever since. Charges brought against the couple resulted in imprisonment for both Ayşenur and Ragıp Zarakolu, the wholesale confiscation and destruction of books and the imposition of heavy fines.
In 1979 Ragıp Zarakolu was one of the founders of the daily newspaper Demokrat and took responsibility for the news desk on foreign affairs. The paper was banned with the military coup of 12 September 1980 and Ragıp Zarakolu was shortly imprisoned in 1982 in connection with this position in Demokrat. He was banned from leaving the country between 1971 and 1991. In 1986 he became one of 98 founders of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (HRA or in Turkish IHD). For some time Ragıp Zarakolu chaired the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN in Turkey. Currently (beginning of 2007) he chairs the Committee for Freedom of Publication in the Union of Publishers.
Until the military coup of 12 September 1980 Belge Publishing House mostly published academic and theoretical books. Afterwards Belge started to publish a series of books written by political prisoners. The series of 35 books consisted of poems, shorts stories, novels. The list of publications (see a list of selected publications below) include more than 10 books (translations) of Greek literature, 10 books on the Armenian Question and five books related to the Jews in Turkey. There are also a number of books dealing with the Kurds in Turkey.
He also has published several books on the Armenian Genocide, such as George Jerjian[permanent dead link]‘s The Truth Will Set Us Free: Armenians and Turks Reconciled[permanent dead link] and Professor Dora Sakayan‘s An Armenian Doctor in Turkey: Garabed Hatcherian: My Smyrna Ordeal of 1922 — which brought new criminal charges in 2005. In November 2007 Zarakolu published David Gaunt’s book “Massacres, resistance, protectors” about the Assyrian Genocide in Turkish (“Katliamlar, Direniş, Koruyucular”).
In 1995 the Belge Publishing House offices were firebombed by a far right group, forcing it to be housed in a cellar. Since his wife’s death in 2002, Zarakolu continued to face further prosecutions.
In May 2017 the Belge Publishing House was raided by police who said they had orders to seize all copies of the book Stateless Kurds and Decisions Tougher than Death. Police also seized hundreds of books published in the 1980s and 1990s, despite having no orders to do so.