BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 15:04 GMT
Turkey orders fresh insult trial
A Turkish editor is to appear in court after publishing a book that prosecutors say insults the nation.

Abdullah Yildiz of Literatur publishers faces several years in jail for printing bestseller "The Witches of Smyrna" by Greek author Mara Meimaridi.

The novel is set during the last years of the Ottoman rule in Izmir (Smyrna in Greek), and in some passages describes the city's Turkish quarters as dirty.

Some 60 Turkish reporters and writers have gone on trial on similar charges.

One of the most high-profile trials is that of novelist Orhan Pamuk, who has been charged over his remarks about the alleged mass killing of Kurds and Ottoman Armenians - deaths Turkey insists cannot be classed as genocide.

The European Union has described the case as a litmus test of Turkey's eligibility to join, warning that it is Ankara - rather than Mr Pamuk - that is going on trial.

'Surprise' lawsuit

Mr Yildiz had been accused for "denigrating the Turkish national identity," Literatur's spokeswoman Eylem Ozcimen told the AFP news agency.

Orhan leaves court in Istanbul
Mr Pamuk's trial has drawn worldwide attention

"We were very surprised by the lawsuit because the book has been on sale for more than a year," Ms Ozcimen said.

"We informed the author and she told us she had no intention of insulting the Turks and did not have a hostile attitude," she added.

The first hearing is expected to start in April, reports say.

Ms Meimaridi's book sold nearly 50,000 copies in Turkey and about 100,000 in Greece and is being made into a film.

Armenia remembers 1915 killings
24 Apr 05 |  Europe
Sense of the City: Istanbul
07 Aug 03 |  Europe


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific