Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thought Crime

Under Turkey's new penal code, it is a crime to insult the nation's character. Orhan Pamuk, who lives in Istanbul and whose novels have reached an international audience, now faces charges under this statute. His crime: he told a Swiss paper that 1 million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in Turkey (see for the Associated Press write up.)

I met Orhan in 1995 when I was first in Istanbul. He is a fine writer, a thoughtful guy, and believes in speaking the truth in a gentle but forceful way.

This is no crime. This is exactly what writers should be doing. I'll try to find out what free speech groups are doing to protest this and I will post more about it as I get details of what those of use who don't live in Turkey can do.

Sorry for the off topic post, but I'm outraged by this attack on freedom of expression.

No comments: