Author Hamide Yiğit and Tekin Publishing House fined over a book

Hamide Yiğit, who was on trial for her book titled ‘Tekmili Birden IŞİD’ (‘The Whole ISIS’) with the allegation that the book ‘violates personal rights’ and Tekin Publishing House, which published the book, received a fine of TRY 10 thousand

According to the news article of BirGün newspaper, Foundation for Humanitarian Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (İHH) sued Hamide Yiğit for her book ‘The Whole ISIS‘ with the allegation that it “violates personal rights.”  Istanbul 20th Civil Court of First Instance fined both the author Yiğit and the Tekin Publishing House for publishing the book with TRY 10 thousand of non-pecuniary damages. The news article also indicates that Bilal Erdoğan, son of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Berat Albayrak, Erdoğan’s son in law, had also filed a lawsuit related to the book, and the author Yiğit received a fine but objected to the decision. It was noted that as a result of the approved lawsuit, which is currently being appealed, the publishing house will be paying  a compensation of TRY 60 thousand including interests and counsel fees.

The news article included the expert’s report dated 3 February 2020. The results section of the report states: “As a result of my examinations and research on the book and the sources the book is based on, I believe that the parts of the book written by the defendant about the plaintiff are not solely based on personal thoughts but on information acquired from various resources and since there is no contradiction between what is written in the book and in the resources, the book does not contain any sentences that violate the personal rights of the plaintiff.”

The article also noted that the court did not take into consideration the expert’s report and many lawsuits were filed against Yiğit’s book. The news article also included the words of Elif Akkaya, the Chief Editor of Tekin Publishing House: “An organization named İHH started hunting down the book. The matters fined in this book contain information with direct quotes from international resources, which are shown as references. Even though the expert’s report was in our favor, the court did not consider this report. It is not acceptable for publishers, who are mediators for expressing and spreading information within the scope of our right to law and freedom of expression, our constitutional rights, to be fined ‘this harsh.’ We are in both an economic and political conundrum and are being punished for books we publish.”

DİSK Basın-İş also showed support from their Twitter account.