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U.S.-based Armenian poet’s books seized in Turkey

U.S.-based Armenian poet’s books seized in Turkey

During an October 27 press conference in Yerevan, U.S.-based Armenian poet Sona Van told journalists how Turkey seized her book dedicated to Armenian Genocide victims, reported Sputnik Արմենիա.

According to the poet, the Turkish government seized her books published by Ragip Zarakoglu last year, and now she is under persecution in Turkey.

“Talented translator, Turkologist Hagop Chakrian liked my poems and decided to translate them into Turkish. He sent the translations to Belge Publishing House, which is under the direction of Ragip Zarakoglu,” Sona Van said.

According to her, Zarakoglu dared to declare that he would personally edit and publish the book devoted to the Armenian Genocide.

“He assumed the task. He wrote a great preface, and the book was published in 1,500 copies when my other books had been published in 1,000 copies. There are many Armenians in Turkey, but I had focused on not only Armenian readers, but also Turkish intelligentsia,” she stated.

After the book’s publication, the poet was supposed to leave for Istanbul to have a meeting with the local intelligentsia. Zarakoglu had personally organized the event, but the meeting was canceled…

“I had a fear, but I was expecting the meeting. I wanted to raise certain issues with Turkish intelligentsia. However, I learned that three publishing houses had been closed down by Erdogan’s executive order, and one of those publishing houses was Belge Publishing House. I also learned that my books had been seized,” Van said.

According to her, before the seizure, she had sent 100 copies of the book to Yerevan, but 1,400 copies had remained at the publishing house.

“I don’t know where Zarakoglu is. I also wanted to find him and offer to help him,” the poet said.

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