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Magazine issue removed from bookstore shelves following customer complaint

(BIANET/IFEX) - 11 February 2011 - The D&R bookstore chain stopped selling the current issue of the "Bir+Bir" magazine after some customers complained about a "denigration of the national anthem" in a poem printed in the issue. The magazine criticised the decision and urged their readers not to be deterred by "fascism".

The stores, which belong to the Dogan Media Group, removed the magazine's current issue from their shelves after an e-mail to this effect was sent to all branches by the chain's management. The reason for the suspension was the reaction of a "sensitive citizen".

The management said that the poem published in the magazine, entitled "Istikbal March", was denigrating to the Turkish national anthem, titled "Istiklal March". Hence, customers "rightfully" complained about the magazine, management said.

The magazine published an announcement on its website, BirDirBir.org, which read: "What happened to Bir+Bir is just a drop in the ocean. But it is possible to see the whole picture in this one drop . . . Only last week, the Nezih bookstore had all copies of the Metis 2011 agenda removed. We are seeing typical examples of fascism every day. This week it is our turn."

"We just made a little joke, a joke between us and our readers, to make them smile a little bit. Later on, it turned into a real joke," the magazine said.


BACKGROUND:

The Nezih bookstore recently stopped selling the 2011 agenda by the Metis publishing house on the topic of "Racism, Discrimination and Hate Crimes". Once again, a "sensitive citizen" was named as the reason behind the suspension, after a customer complained about a drawing on the agenda's 10 November page.

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