Project’s last regional meeting was held on 25 April 2015, at Elite World Hotel, Van. The guest speakers of the meeting, lawyer Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Librarians Society of Turkey Vice President Aydın İleri and writer Yavuz Ekinci made short speeches, sharing their experiences on freedom to publish in Turkey. Publishers, academics, journalists and writers from around Van and Hakkari attended the meeting.
Ekinci issued censorship and auto-censorship by examplifying his feelings and anxiety while writing his novel on Hizbullah, the fear he felt after the reactions from his close community and his self-interrogation about why he chose this subject to write on.
İleri mentioned the banning on books goes on in Turkey with the examples from his field of expertise, libraries. He told that in local level, library administers apply various mechanisms of censorship, initiated always with the notifications of some “sensitive” citizens, individuals targeting some books. He said, “Then rapidly some commissions are being formed to delibarate on these warnings and banning decisions are made. We do not know whom these commissions consist of and what they are capable of, we do not know any of these”.
Attendees stressed on the fact that in the last few years, because of KCK operations lost of publishers and journalists living in the region were taken into custody. The meeting ended after the comments of the attendees.