Monday, January 23, 2006

Turkey drops case against writer Orhan Pamuk

ANKARA (Reuters) - A Turkish court dropped a controversial case against best-selling author Orhan Pamuk for insulting Turkish identity after the justice ministry said it had no authority to try him, CNN Turk TV said on Sunday.

Ruling on a case that has been condemned by the European Union, the justice ministry told Istanbul's Sisli court it had had no authority under the revised penal code to pursue the trial.

Pamuk was charged under article 301 of the new penal code, which forbids insulting the Turkish identity, after he said in a Swiss newspaper interview that no one dared discuss the massacre of a million Armenians in Turkey during World War One.

The EU had said the case raised concerns over freedom of speech in Turkey as it seeks to win EU membership by demonstrating its commitment to European values.

The Istanbul court adjourned Pamuk's trial shortly after it began on December 16 and asked the justice ministry for a legal opinion on whether he could be tried under the new penal code.

Pamuk made the remarks last February, before the new penal code came into force. The court decided to drop the case following the statement from the ministry, CNN Turk said.

Read the whole story on Reuters

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