February 22, 2005

Orhan Pamuk charged for "claims against the Turkish identity" . . .


Charges have been filed in Turkey against novelist Orhan Pamuk telling a Swiss newspaper that “30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians had been killed in Turkey,” which is “a statement argued to constitute a crime according to the Turkish Penal Code,” says a Turkish Daily News report. The prosecutor who filed the charges, Orhan Pekmezci, says, “Pamuk has made groundless claims against the Turkish identity, the Turkish military and Turkey as a whole. . . . He made a statement provoking the people to hatred and animosity through the media, which is defined as a crime in Article 312.” Upon making the original statement, Pamuk added, “Almost no one dares to speak out this but me, and the nationalists hate me for that.” In another report, from the Turkish Press, the prosecutor says, “I strongly condemn Pamuk” for those additional remarks.

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives