No War - No Refugee
No NATO - No Refugee

Country Information

Here you find background information on Guinea, Iran, Kurdistan, Türkei.

You are here

Express Acquittal for Writer Shafak

Turkey's internationally acclaimed writer Elif Shafak got acquitted on the
first hearing today from charges of "insulting Turkishness" in her last
novel. Numerous intellectuals and activists supported Shafak and once again
deemed the article 301.

Turkey's internationally acclaimed writer Elif Shafak is acquitted of the
charges of "insulting Turkishness" in her last novel "Father and Bastard".
in the first hearing of the trial in Istanbul’s Beyoglu district courthall.
The court ruled that the legal elements of the attributed offense did not
exist and the indictment was not supported with relevant evidence.

The trial was initiated by a letter of complaint from a “nationalist group”,
a self-acclaimed “Union of Grand Jurists” who charged Shafak with violating
notrious Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code.

The Article was passed in 2005 in the legal reform pacakage, to replace a
former Article 159, with the aim of adjusting Turkish Law with Copenhagen
Criteria of the European Union. Howeever, in spite of introduction of a
particular clause which exempts “criticism” from prosecution, at least 40
intellectuals have been indicted with violating the article under charges of
“insulting Turkishness”.

The last victim Elif Shafak was absent in today’s hearing as she gave birth
to a child last week, and the judge made a first-time ruling referring to
Article 190/3 of he new procedural law which provides: “in cases when it is
imminent, acquittal can be ruled without hearing the defendant's testimony".

Shafak said after the ruling that she is content with the ruling but such
trials in fact damage Turkey's image.

Verbal clash between supporters of Shafak and nationalist group

There was tension during the trial between intellectuals and rights activist
who came to support Shafak and the supporters of the nationalist jurist
group.

The court rejected Kemal Kerincsiz's, head of the jurist group, appeal to
intervene the trial and as they left the building verbal clashes between the
two sides. The police having taken extraordinary safety measures avoided any
conflict and took one human rights activist under custody.

Physical and verbal violence was rampart on previous trials of writers and
journalists tried with the same article such as Orhan Pamuk, Hrant Dink,
Perihan Magden, Murat Belge and Hasan Cemal where the so-called Jurists
Union was involved.

Shafak case at a glance

Jurists Union leading member Kemal Kerincsiz's first complaint against the
book led to a dismissal of proceedings on June 7 after which he appealed to
the High Criminal Court.

The 7th High Criminal Court then returned the previous decision asking the
court to evaluate the offensive content of what had been written, reviving
proceedings against Shafak, Sokmen and the book's translator Asli Bicen

After publisher Sokmen appealed on grounds that "a published cannot be
subjected to trial for a work whose author could be identified" proceedings
where dismissed against him and the translator. Beyoglu Public Prosecutor
Mustafa Erol, charged only Shafak under article 301/1 in his July 24 dated
indictment.

"Father and Bastard" who was published on 8 March this year is already on
the bestseller list and the book is sold in Turkey. Originally written in
English, the book is in the publishing schedule of Viking/Penguin publishing
house.

Elif Safak, a Turkish citizen, was born in France and spent her childhood in
Spain. After studying political science in Turkey, she held teaching
positions in the United Kingdom, Turkey, and the United States and then took
the position of Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Near Eastern Studies at
University of Arizona.

Her publications include both novels and essays, among them The Saint of
Incipient Insanities, which was her first book published in English, Bit
Palas, Mahrem, which won the Turkish Writers' Association Best Novel of the
Year Award, and Sehrin Aynalari. She has also published reviews in The
Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and The Washington
Post.(EO/EU/YE)

Novelist Shafak's Trial Stirs Controversy

19/09/2006 Erol ONDEROGLU Metis issues public appeal asking everyone to
attend the author Shafak's hearing while rightwing Jurists Union group
declares it will be "a day of national duty" inviting all supporters to be
at courthouse. She won't attend court having just given birth.

A new trial will commence against internationally renown author Elif Shafak
on September 21 Thursday, based on charges of her "insulting the Turkish
identity" in certain parts of her best-seller novel "Father and Bastard"
published by the Metis Publishing House.

Charges against Shafak are based on a criminal complaint made through a
group of rightwing jurists who publicly dub themselves as the "Jurists
Union" and have haunted the Turkish judicial system in the past year with
complaints against leading intellectuals, writers and journalists.

Shafak's case will be heard at the Beyoglu 2nd Criminal Court of First
Instance at 10.30 and both sides, Metis in support of freedoms and rights
and Jurists Union claiming she is idolized in the interests of western
imperialism, have called on supporters to turn up en mass at the Beyoglu
Justice Hall.

Appeal for mass presence

Although Shafak herself will not attend the case due to giving birth to a
daughter on September 16, Semih Sokmen will be at the hearing as the person
responsible for publishing at Metis despite the court deciding twice in the
past to dismiss proceedings against him.

Metis Publishing House has issued a public appeal for mass attendance to the
hearing where Shafak faces a possible prison sentence of three years in a
display of support that would show a desire for a country where "thought is
not strangulated" and that those who want more democracy and more freedoms
in Turkey are not marginal or a handful.

Union: "Time to say stop to enemies of Turkey!"

Raising concerns prior to the trial is a news report in the liberal Radikal
newspaper saying that the group now identifying itself as the, "Grand
Jurists Union" had issued a separate statement calling on everyone to fulfil
a "National Duty" on the day of Shafak's trial.

The statement said "the time has come to say stop to the enemies of Turks on
legitimate grounds. We invite everyone to the Beyoglu Justice Hall under the
slogan 'invitation to national duty' to make the enemies of Turks pay in the
field of justice for swearing at and insulting the Turkish nation".

References such as "making them pay" have raised concerns that tension will
hit the case as in the examples of the previous trials of writers and
journalists such as Orhan Pamuk, Hrant Dink, Perihan Magden, Murat Belge and
Hasan Cemal where the so-called Jurists Union was involved.

The message by the Grand Jurists Union also said:

"Our country that has been kept under cultural and economic occupation by
global forces for many years, is now face to face with the threat of
military occupation and division under the framework of the Greater Middle
East Project.

"Western imperialism, in its struggle to force the Sevres (Treaty) on Turkey
again, has chosen to use Orhan Pamuk, Hrant Dink, Perihan Magden, Murat
Belge, Hasan Cemal and those like them by idolizing them. The new princess
selected by the ethnic minority supporters, the separatists, EU and USA
followers, treaty intellectuals, is Elif Shafak."

Judicial proceedings

Jurists Union leading member Kemal Kerincsiz's first complaint against the
book led to a dismissal of proceedings on June 7 after which he appealed to
the High Criminal Court.

The 7th High Criminal Court then returned the previous decision asking the
court to evaluate the offensive content of what had been written, reviving
proceedings against Shafak, Sokmen and the book's translator Asli Bicen

After publisher Sokmen appealed on grounds that "a published cannot be
subjected to trial for a work whose author could be identified" proceedings
where dismissed against him and the translator. Beyoglu Public Prosecutor
Mustafa Erol, charged only Shafak under article 301/1 in his July 24 dated
indictment.

"Father and Bastard" who was published on 8 March this year is already on
the bestseller list and the book is sold in Turkey. Originally written in
English, the book is in the publishing schedule of Viking/Penguin publishing
house. Elif Safak, a Turkish citizen, was born in France and spent her
childhood in Spain. After studying political science in Turkey, she held
teaching positions in the United Kingdom, Turkey, and the United States and
then took the position of Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Near Eastern
Studies at University of Arizona.

Her publications include both novels and essays, among them The Saint of
Incipient Insanities, which was her first book published in English, Bit
Palas, Mahrem, which won the Turkish Writers' Association Best Novel of the
Year Award, and Sehrin Aynalari. She has also published reviews in The
Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Boston Globe, and The Washington
Post.

Language: 
Campaign: 

Der Kampf von Flüchtlingen braucht Geld!

Die Karawane ist maßgeblich auf Spenden angewiesen. Unsere Organisation besteht überwiegend aus Flüchtlingen, die (wenn überhaupt) nur über sehr geringe finanzielle Mittel verfügen. Aus diesem Grunde haben wir 2008 den „Förderverein Karawane e. V.” gegründet. Unser Verein ist als gemeinnützig anerkannt und kann deswegen auf Wunsch Spendenquittungen ausstellen, so dass sie steuerlich absetzbar sind. Wenn bei der Überweisung die Adresse mit angegeben wird, verschicken wir die Spendenbescheinigung automatisch spätestens am Anfang des Folgejahres.

Kontakt: foerderverein(at)thecaravan.org

Unsere Bankverbindung lautet:
Förderverein Karawane e.V.
Kontonummer
: 40 30 780 800
GLS Gemeinschaftsbank eG
BLZ: 430 609 67

IBAN: DE28430609674030780800
BIC: GENODEM1GLS

Events

M T W T F S S
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 
 

Syndicate

Subscribe to Syndicate