Author may be jailed for literary 'taboo'

United Press International
July 30 2006

University of Arizona Professor Elif Shafak was indicted and
interrogated by Turkish officials because a character in her novel
refers to the Armenian genocide.

The 35-year-old Turkish native had one of her characters in her novel
"The Bastard of Istanbul" refer to the 1915 Turkish genocidal war in
which 1.5 million Armenians were killed, and in doing so violated a
"taboo," and possibly the laws of Turkey, the Arizona Republic said.

While the International Association of Genocide Scholars has ruled
the 1915 action by Turkey to be genocide, the concept is still not
accepted as fact in Turkey.

Turkish officials indicted Shafak based on a law which says if an
individual insults "Turkishness," he or she could be punished by up
to three years in prison, the newspaper said.

While numerous other authors have been jailed for violating the law,
Shafak's indictment and pending trial mark the first time someone
has had to defend a work of fiction, the newspaper said.

Shafak has not been jailed, and a trial date has not been set.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress