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Turkish prosecutors may charge EU lawmaker with state slander

[JURIST] Turkish prosecutors launched an inquiry Tuesday into whether slander charges should be brought against a European Union lawmaker who made disparaging remarks about the Turkish army, an act criminalized by the revised Turkish penal code [JURIST report]. Dutch legislator Joost Lagendijk [official profile], a senior member of the European Parliament and chairman of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee [official website], who was recently present in Turkey to observe the trial of Turkish author Orhan Pamuk [JURIST report], reportedly told journalists that the Turkish military engages weaker Kurdish seperatist forces to make themselves feel "big and powerful." Lagendijk made the remark at a press conference where he demanded that Turkey re-write the penal code article used to charge Pamuk, on trial for state slander arising from questioning the role of Turkey in the 1915 mass killings of Armenians, or risk losing its EU membership bid. Last month the EU warned Turkey to improve its human rights record [JURIST report]; charges against Lagendijk would almost certainly inflame Turkey's already delicate relations with the European bloc. AP has more.

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