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Supreme Court affirms earlier court decision to drop case against writer Orhan Pamuk for "degrading Turkishness"

(BIANET/IFEX) - The Supreme Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of the Sisli 2nd Penal Court to drop the case against writer Orhan Pamuk.

Pamuk was prosecuted at the Sisli 2nd Penal Court for "degrading Turkishness" (Article 301), over an interview given to the Swiss weekly "Das Magazin" in February 2005, in which he said, "One million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds have been killed on this soil."

The prosecution had demanded a sentence of up to three years' imprisonment. However, the case was dropped in January 2006 because the Ministry of Justice withheld permission to prosecute.

The prosecution had decided to try Pamuk under Article 159, the predecessor of Article 301. Since that required permission from the Ministry of Justice, the case was postponed to 7 February.

When the ministry replied on 20 January 2006 that "we do not have the authority to permit judgment", the court dropped the case immediately. Supporters of Pamuk who attended the trial, including European Members of Parliament, were attacked by nationalists. The violence attracted as much attention in Europe as the case itself.

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