Friday, 9 January 2009

Dink-2? - Turkish intellectuals under attack for "I apologise" campaign

Reuters reports that a "Turkish prosecutor has opened an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against the authors of an online apology for the World War One killings of Armenians, state-run news agency Anatolian reported on Friday." They could face charges under the infamous Article 301 for "insulting Turkish identity".

In mid-December, more than 200 Turkish intellectuals launched an online petition "I apologise" which reads:

"My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers and sisters. I apologize to them. "

I wrote in my post that even though they did not mention the G-word, this is a remarkable step forward by a group of Turkish thinkers in a country where Armenian Genocide still remains a taboo, albeit a broken one, and where by mere mentioning of the Genocide one could get persecuted or killed.

Here we are. Not only initiators are facing a possible criminal charges (these would possibly be dropped as it would cause an international outrage) but as BBC reports, they are facing now a very real physical threat:

"Police said on Friday they had information that a man arrested this week was gathering intelligence and planning an attack against one of the organisers of the apology campaign.

Police said he had recently travelled to several cities and made it known that he was planning an action that would "shake Turkey", the BBC was told by a source who did not want to be named.

The man's uncle was reportedly among more than 30 people arrested on Wednesday in connection with an alleged ultra-nationalist coup plot.

Documents found in the raids led to the discovery of weapons and explosives in the forest outside Ankara, police say.

Some Turkish writers, who have promoted more open discussion of the Armenian issue, have been targeted by ultra-nationalist Turks.

The Turkish-Armenian writer Hrant Dink was killed last year for openly saying that the events of 1915 were genocide.

Previously he had been tried for "insulting Turkishness" for his comments on 1915."

1 comment:

artmika said...

Turkey rejects criminal prosecution in apology campaign to Armenians (Hurriyet)

The office of the Ankara Public Prosecutor ruled Monday against demands for the criminal prosecution of individuals who initiated an Internet campaign to issue a public apology to Armenians. (UPDATED)

The prosecutors' office in Ankara earlier this month launched an investigation into the issue after six Turkish prosecutors submitted a petition calling for the organizers of the apology campaign to be charged with "insulting the Turkish nation openly" under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

"It has been decided that there is no need for criminal prosecution on the legal grounds that opposing opinions are also protected under freedom of thought in democratic societies," the prosecutors' office, which completed its investigation regarding the demands, said in its ruling. [...]