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Turkey drops one charge against author

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ISTANBUL, Turkey, Dec 29, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Best-selling Turkish author Orhan Pamuk has escaped a charge of insulting Turkey's military but still faces trial for insulting "Turkishness."

Pamuk was charged for his quote in a magazine interview: "One million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares talk about it."

His trial was adjourned on its first day Dec. 16 amid a dispute over whether the case should be tried under Turkey's old penal code or a recent, revised version, the BBC said.

Pamuk is among more than 60 writers or publishers charged with insulting the republic, parliament or any organs of Turkish state. A guilty verdict can carry a prison sentence of up to three years.

His lawyers told the BBC authorities have dropped the one charge dealing with the military, but his trial is scheduled to resume Feb. 7 on the insulting "Turkishness" charge.

The case is being closely watched by members of the European Union, which Turkey has applied to join, the BBC said. The EU has told Turkey it needs to do more to protect freedom of expression.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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