A Turkish court on Tuesday acquitted a writer of insulting the country’s founder amid calls from the European Union to change repressive laws curbing freedom of expression.
Ipek Calislar had been charged with the crime of insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in a biography. It was the latest of dozens of trials in Turkey against authors, journalists, publishers and scholars, including Nobel literature laureate Orhan Pamuk.
The charges were brought after Calislar published a biography of the revered leader’s wife that claimed that Ataturk fled an assassination attempt dressed in women’s clothing.
The book was the first comprehensive biography of Latife Ussaki, who was married to Ataturk for about two years until he divorced her in 1925.
Insulting Ataturk is a crime in Turkey, as are insults to the Turkish republic or the Turkish national character.
Unfortunately, the law still stands and the aggrieved will soon find another target.
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