CONVICTION OF ARMENIAN JOURNALIST IN TURKEY OVERTURNED: PRESS

Agence France Presse -- English
May 1, 2006 Monday 4:07 PM GMT

A court in Ankara Monday overturned on appeal the conviction of
an Armenian journalist in Turkey, accused of insulting the Turkish
identity, the Anatolia news agency reported.

Hrant Dink, publisher of the bi-lingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper
Agos, was sentenced to a suspended six-month sentence in October by
a court in Istanbul for an article published in February 2004.

The article about the massacre of Armenians during World War I
in Turkey called on Armenians "to turn now to the new blood of an
independent Armenia, which alone is capable of liberating the Armenian
diaspora" and to reject any Turkish roots.

The appeal judges in Ankara overturned the conviction due to procedural
errors, Anatolia reported, adding that the case will be referred back
to the Istanbul court for retrial.

Dink's lawyer, Fethiye Cetin, could not confirm the Anatolia report
when contacted by AFP, as he had not yet received word from the
appeals court.

Armenians claim up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in
orchestrated killings between 1915 and 1917 in the final days of the
Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of Turkey.

It remains a sensitive issue as Turkey categorically rejects claims
of genocide. Ankara argues that 300,000 Armenians and at least as
many Turks died in civil strife when the Armenians took up arms
for independence in eastern Anatolia and sided with Russian troops
invading the crumbling Ottoman Empire.
From: Baghdasarian