Turkey has dropped charges of insulting the national identity laid against the country’s best-known author, Orhan Pamuk, a Turkish TV station said Sunday.
Pamuk was charged after he told a Swiss newspaper last year that discussion of Turkey’s role in the deaths of Armenians in World War One and Kurds in the 1980s was suppressed.
The paper quoted him as saying that “30,000 Kurds and one million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it.”
The actions of the Ottoman Empire involving Armenians are very sensitive in Turkey. It rejects the allegation that the empire committed genocide.
Turkey is very worried by its Kurdish minority, fearing that it might try and establish its own country.
But Ankara has been under pressure from writers and the European Union to become more open about its history, and withdraw the charges against Pamuk.
Turkey wants to join the EU, which said Pamuk’s case raised issues about freedom of speech.
The British branch of PEN, the international writers support group, has said Turkey’s laws regarding insulting the Turkish identity contravene UN and EU human rights agreements, both of which Turkey has signed…
Pamuk, who has written best-sellers including Snow and My Name is Red, may be a contender for the Nobel Prize.