Socialist Worker

War and attacks on criticism intensify in Turkey

by Ron Marguiles
Issue No. 1974

Hrant Dink, editor of Turkey’s Armenian language weekly newspaper Agos, has received a six month suspended sentence for “insulting Turks” after comments on the Armenian genocide.

Dink has appealed and said that he will leave the country if his name is not cleared.

This summer an academic conference on the Armenian minority in the late Ottoman period was threatened into postponement.

It was then prevented by court order. It finally took place under a barrage of chauvinist criticism in the media.

Novelist Orhan Pamuk is being prosecuted and faces a possible three year sentence for having said that one million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in Turkey.

At the same time, the war in the Kurdish provinces of the south east has been escalating, with the number of dead rising.

There have also been attacks on Kurds in the non-Kurdish parts of the country and an increase in anti-Kurdish feeling.

Yet Dink was not put in prison, the Armenian conference did go ahead and Pamuk will, almost certainly, not be jailed even if he’s found guilty.

While the war in Kurdistan is hotting up there are behind the scenes negotiations going on.

Last month Turkey’s prime minister Erdogan visited the city of Diyarbakir and made a conciliatory speech.

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Sat 29 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1974
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