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Court orders seizure of magazine, suspension of publication

(BIANET/IFEX) - 13 June 2011 - A Diyarbakir court has ordered the seizure of all copies of the first two issues of "Ozgur Halk ve Demokratik Modernite" ("Free People and Democratic Modernity") magazine following allegations the publication was spreading "propaganda for an illegal organization".

The magazine, which began publishing in April 2011, was suspended shortly after its release and copies of the first issue were seized. The second issue was again ordered seized and the 6th High Criminal Court of Diyarbakir, a Kurdish-majority city in southeastern Turkey, decided to suspend the publication of the magazine and confiscate all copies.

The magazine includes articles by intellectuals and journalists such as "Milliyet" reporter Nuray Mert, Prof. Dogu Ergil, Labour, Democracy and Freedom Block Candidate Sirri Sureyya Onder, Kurdish politician Aysel Tugluk, Ayse Candas and Essa Moosa, lawyer of Nelson Mandela. The ban and seizure of the magazine stem from the publication's reference to a speech by Abdullah Ocalan, imprisoned leader of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Lawyer Ozcan Kilic, the magazine's legal attorney, drew attention to the lack of investigation prior to the seizure. He said he had appealed the court decision but that the appeal was dismissed over alleged "propaganda for an illegal organization".

Click here to view Kilic's full statement

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