Turkish court bans imprisoned Kurdish politician Gültan Kışanak's book

A Turkish local court has banned jailed Kurdish politician Gültan Kışanak’s book "The Purple Color of Kurdish Politics" and ruled to pull all copies off the shelves. Kışanak was the pro-Kurdish DEM Party’s mayoral candidate for the capital province of Ankara. 

Duvar English

A court in Turkey’s western province of İzmir on April 25 banned the book The Purple Color of Kurdish Politics, authored by imprisoned Kurdish politician Gültan Kışanak in 2018.

Accordingly, all book copies would be pulled from the shelves across Turkey, and further prints would stop, reported the Mesopotamia Agency (MA). 

Kışanak’s book combines the narratives of Kurdish women prisoners, which she collected while in prison through interviews she conducted through letters, and presents a historical account of the women’s movement. 

Since 2018, the book has been reprinted multiple times, translated into English, and was available in major bookstores.

However, in 2020, a prosecutor's office included the book in Jinnews journalist Melike Aydın's indictment, regarding a case regarding her alleged ties with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). 

The former co-mayor of the southeastern province of Diyarbakır has been in jail since her arrest in 2016 and was sentenced in February 2019 to 14 years and three months in prison on charges of “being a member of” and “making propaganda” of the PKK.

However, an appeals court overturned the verdict in the same year, citing a lack of procedure and principles during Kışanak’s trial, opening the way for her retrial. 

Currently, she is kept in prison despite the seven-year maximum arrest period ending in October 2023. 

Since her arrest, Kışanak has remained an active actor in Kurdish politics and most recently ran in the March 31 local elections as the Peoples’ Equality and Democracy (DEM) Party’s co-mayoral candidate for the capital Ankara province.