January 22, 2006

Turkey drops case against writer Orhan Pamuk

ANKARA (Reuters) - The case against best-selling writer
Orhan Pamuk for insulting Turkish identity was dropped by
Istanbul's Sisli court following a statement from the Justice
Ministry, CNN Turk TV said on Sunday.

The Justice Ministry said in a statement sent to the
Istanbul court trying Pamuk that it had no authority under the
revised penal code to permit a case against the writer.

The court decided to drop the case following the statement
from the ministry, CNN Turk said.

Pamuk was charged under Article 301 of the revised penal
code for saying in a Swiss newspaper interview that no one
dared discuss the massacre of a million Armenians 90 years ago
and the deaths of 30,000 Kurds in the past two decades.

The European Union has criticized the case and said it
raised concerns over Turkey's commitment to European values.

Pamuk's trial in Istanbul was adjourned shortly after it
began on December 16 to give the Justice Ministry time to
decide how to proceed, effectively passing responsibility of
the case to the government.