ANKARA: Pamuk To Face The Nation, Decides Top Appeals Court

PAMUK TO FACE THE NATION, DECIDES TOP APPEALS COURT

Turkish Daily News
Jan 24 2008
Turkey

The country’s top appeals court decided Tuesday that six people who
filed a complaint against novelist Orhan Pamuk had a case because
the author had made statements against the whole nation.

Nobel laureate novelist Pamuk, in an interview with a Swiss magazine,
had said: "We killed a million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds.

No one in Turkey has the courage to say this. I do." Charges
were brought against Pamuk for insulting Turkishness based on the
controversial Article 301 of the penal code for his statement, but an
Istanbul court had dropped the case because of the Interior Ministry’s
failure to approve of the trial.

Afterward, six people filed a complaint against Pamuk, accusing him
of condemning the whole nation with his statements, and demanded
compensation.

An Istanbul court had rejected the complaint, arguing that those who
lodged the complaint could not represent the entire nation.

The court decision went to the Supreme Court of Appeals, which annulled
the court decision. The appeals court said: "The judiciary decides
the limits of individual rights that include physical, emotional and
social values, occupational pride, honor, freedom, spiritual rights,
health and citizenship. When assessed from this angle, citizenship is
seen as a right that must be protected and the statement directed at
the whole nation gives individuals the right to file such complaints."

The decision allows every Turkish citizen to file complaints against
individuals who make statements they deem insulting to the nation.

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