Citing 'obscenity,' Turkish prison bans jailed Kurdish politician Demirtaş’s novel

Prison officials at a jail in northwestern Turkey have denied an inmate a novel penned by jailed Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtaş, citing the book’s “obscene" content, Gazete Karinca reported on Tuesday.

The Bolu prison committee ruled that inmate Mustafa Taştan would not receive Demirtaş’s novel “Efsun” (Spell), which was mailed to him, over its obscene content that could “pose a security risk,’’ it said.

Published in September, Efsun was written by the former chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) during his fifth year behind bars on terror charges. 

Taştan is set to file an appeal against the decision, the news outlet said, on grounds that the book was not a banned publication and contained a seal of approval by Turkey’s Culture Ministry. 

Demirtaş has described the book, which was written with help from his wife and two daughters, as “a modern love story.’’ 

Efsun is the fourth book Demirtaş has authored behind bars.

The former co-chair of the HDP was arrested in 2016, alongside his co-chair Figen Yüksekdağ and several HDP deputies, over alleged ties to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group at war in Turkey for Kurdish self-rule for four decades. Demirtaş denies the claim.

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