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Another Turkish author tried for insulting national identity

[JURIST] Another Turkish author went on trial Thursday on charges [AP report] that he "insulted the Turkish identity" in violation of Article 301 [Amnesty backgrounder] of the country's penal code. Ipek Calislar wrote that the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, once left his palace disguised as a woman to evade an assassination attempt. Calislar faces 4.5 years in prison if convicted.

Turkey [JURIST news archive; CIA backgrounder] is seeking membership to the European Union (EU) [official website], which has urged that Article 301 be abolished [JURIST report] because it infringes upon the freedom of expression. Despite revising portions of the penal code [JURIST report] last year, Turkish leaders have no immediate plans to make further changes to the law. Turkish novelists Elif Shafak [personal website], Hrant Dink and Orhan Pamuk [JURIST news archive] have all been charged under Article 301 for discussing the alleged Armenian genocide. Shafak was acquitted and Pamuk's charges were dismissed [JURIST reports], while Dink faces a retrial [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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