2017 IPA Prix Votaire tilldelas Turhan Günay and Evrensel

2017 IPA Prix Votaire tilldelas Turhan Günay and Evrensel

Pressmeddelande från International Publishers Association (IPA):

2017 IPA Prix Voltaire jointly awarded to Turkish publishers Turhan Günay and Evrensel

Publisher Turhan Günay and publishing house Evrensel, both from Turkey,have been named joint winners of the 2017 International Publishers Association (IPA) prize for courage in upholding the freedom to publish, the IPA Prix Voltaire.

Turhan Günay is an executive at Cumhuriyet Books, the book publishing branch of the daily Cumhuriyet newspaper, where he has worked for more than 30 years. He has also been editorial director of the Cumhuriyet Book Supplement for 27 years. Günay was arrested in November 2016 and, along with 16 of his Cumhuriyet colleagues, is currently standing trial in Istanbul on groundless terrorism-related charges linked to the newspaper’s editorial output. He has already spent nine months in prison.

Evrensel, meaning ‘universal’, is a multilingual Turkish publishing house whose catalogue encompasses books in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, Assyrian and Arabic. Following sweeping emergency powers assumed by the Turkish government after the July 2016 coup attempt, Evrensel Kültür Magazine was summarily shuttered due to links to the company Doga Basin Yayin, which had already been closed on 29 October 2016. As part of Doga Basin Yayin, Evrensel was unduly forced to stop trading when its accounts were abruptly frozen and its assets seized.

The IPA Freedom to Publish Committee’s decision to jointly award the 2017 IPA Prix Voltaire comes amid the Turkish government’s remorseless purge of all critical voices, in the media, academia, and all areas of cultural life. It is the first time in the prize’s 11-year history that it has been awarded to two separate winners.

Freedom to Publish Committee chairman Kristenn Einarsson said:

‘The freedom to publish situation in Turkey is severely limited today, and we chose to  recognize the immense courage of Turkish publishers who dare to keep working despite the huge risks. Turhan Günay is a book publisher, journalist and literary critic who has devoted his life to books and publishing, and he is paying a high price at the hands of a vengeful Turkish government. Evrensel on the other hand represents many publishing houses that have been closed on spurious grounds, leaving many hundreds of staff out of work and the Turkish book world greatly impoverished. Both are deserving winners of the IPA Prix Voltaire, for both embody the determination to publish freely in a country where the authorities will apparently stop at nothing to silence them.’

The 2017 IPA Prix Voltaire presentation will take place at the Gothenburg Book Fair gala dinner, on the evening of 29 September. Representatives of the winners will be invited to receive the award and to address an IPA freedom to publish seminar in Gothenburg, also on 29 September.

För mer information, kontakta:  
Kristenn Einarsson, direktör i Den norske Forleggerforeningen och ordförande för Freedom to Publish Comittee:
+47 90 12 97 11 eller kristenn@forleggerforeningen.no