IPA President Richard Charkin has told a gathering of Turkish publishing executives that the global publishing community stands ready to support them as they strive to weather mounting political pressure in Turkey.
Addressing the ‘Professions in Publishing’ workshop, on 1-2 October in Istanbul, part of a Turkish Publishers Association (TPA) initiative, Charkin said: ‘Publishers should stand together to address the common challenges, from piracy and copyright protection to ensuring fair taxation systems for books and, of course, freedom to publish.’
He added that as the voice of world publishing, the IPA and its members would continue to take the fight to governments who ‘think they can control people’s thoughts by arresting writers, publishers and booksellers, or by closing down publishing houses and other media companies’.
Charkin, who is the Executive Director of UK Publisher Bloomsbury, was alluding to the Turkish government’s so-called ‘purge’, which has seen the sudden shuttering of 29 publishing houses, and the systematic arrests or dismissals of tens of thousands of authors, journalists, academics and intellectuals, many on spurious ‘links to terrorism’ and ‘anti-Turkishness’ grounds.
The day after the workshop the IPA President said: ‘I wanted to deliver a message of solidarity to Turkey’s publishers. They have shown themselves to be highly adaptable and resilient, and for the time being the country’s vibrant publishing industry is still growing, despite an unprecedented level of pressure. But if the government continues its vengeful persecution of any individual or organization whose views differ from its own, then Turkish publishing — and the country’s creative industries as a whole — risk decimation at the hands of the very people who should be protecting and encouraging them.’