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NRC: Author Pamuk "did not use the word genocide"

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  • NRC: Author Pamuk "did not use the word genocide"

    Author Pamuk "did not use the word genocide"
    By our correspondent

    NRC Handelsblad (Dutch newspaper)
    October 17, 2005

    Istanbul, Oct. 17. Turkish author Orhan Pamuk defended himself on
    television against allegations that he had slandered his country. In
    an interview with a Swiss newspaper, Pamuk earlier this year claimed
    that "30.000 Kurks and one million Armenians were killed in these
    areas and I am not the only who dares to speak about it". This cost
    Pamuk a trial that will begin in December.

    However, according to Pamuk, many misread the challenged interview:
    "I did not say: we Turks killed so many Armenians. I did not use the
    word genocide." The official Turkish line is that a genocide among
    Armenians never took place at the end of the Ottoman empire.

    The case around Pamuk is causing more and more fuss within and outside
    of Turkey. The European Union, with which Turkey is now negotiating
    membership, is very dissatisfied with the whole affair. Euro
    commissioner on enlargement, Olli Rehn, recently visited Pamuk and
    likewise British author Salman Rushdie, who had to go into hiding for a
    long period of time because he was threatened to be killed by radical
    Muslims, and took on Pamuk's defence in a British newspaper. If this
    already stirs up so much trouble, while the trial has not even started
    yet, then cover yourself, well-known Turkish journalist Mehmet Ali
    Birand wrote in a column last week.

    Pamuk is being prosecuted based on an article in the new Turkish
    Penal Code, forbidding slander against "the Turkish identity". The
    new code at the end of last year caused a great row between Ankara
    and Brussels. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan wanted to criminalize
    Adultery, which led to a severe admonishment from Brussels. The row
    overshadowed the extremely vague articles on the slandering of Turkish
    identity that appeared around the same time.

    Earlier, Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was given a suspended
    sentence of 6 months based on the same article. In an article, Dink
    had called on Armenians to distance themselves from the "Turkish
    part of their blood" because it "poisoned" them. According to Dink,
    Armenians should focus on the future and especially on the new Armenian
    state. According to the court, however, Dink had said that there was
    "poison" in Turkish blood.

    From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress