Sunday, May 29, 2005

Charges filed against justice minister

On Friday the İzmir Contemporary Attorneys' Association and the İzmir Human Rights Association filed charges against Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek for calling the organizers of a conference titled “Ottoman Armenians During the Fall of the Empire” traitors, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Arguing that Çiçek had threatened and targeted the participants of the conference before it was even held, the two associations claimed that the justice minister had violated several articles of the Constitution, along with articles in the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, which monitors violations of freedom of thought.

Both associations filed their charges with the Supreme Court of Appeals.

Last week Justice Minister Çiçek said that the conference would be tantamount to stabbing Turkey in the back, adding, “I wish I had not renounced my authority to open criminal cases as justice minister.”

Following Çiçek's speech in Parliament's General Assembly, the Boğaziçi University Rector's Office announced that the conference aimed to question the official view of the Turkish state on the 1915 deportation of Armenians by the then Ottoman Empire. The conference was postponed after the university became the subject of serious allegations from various quarters.

The conference was organized by three prominent universities in Istanbul, namely, Boğaziçi, Bilgi and Sabancı.

(Source: Turkish Daily News)

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