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Pamuk's four alternatives



The controversy surrounding the trial of novelist Orhan Pamuk continues with European observers closely following the developments. Pamuk faces trial for a magazine interview he gave on February 9. In the interview he said that 30,000 Kurds and one million Ottoman Armenians were killed in Turkey and that no one dared to talk about it. Pamuk is charged under Article 301 of the country's recently revised penal code for insulting Turkishness.

The permission of the Justice Ministry was needed for the trial. Application for Justice Ministry’s permission to try Pamuk was filed in May. The Justice Ministry however made no decision in May.

In June a new penal code entered into effect, which lifted the necessary permission needed previously.

On June 8 the Justice Ministry responded to the application of the prosecutor by saying that it was not authorized to make a decision on the issue.

Having received the response of the ministry, the prosecutor filed a suit against Pamuk on the ground of article 301 of the penal code. The lawyers of Pamuk however objected to the suit saying that the charges against Pamuk were related to evens that took place before the enforcement of the new penal code.

In response Şişli Primary Court No. 2 in Istanbul had decided to apply the former penal code. This week the file requesting permission for the trial of Pamuk was sent to the Justice Ministry for the second time.

THE ALTERNATIVES


1. The Justice Ministry might refuse to give nod to the trial. If the response of the ministry is conveyed to the court before the trial scheduled to start tomorrow, the suit will drop.

2. The Justice Ministry might give green light to the trial.

3. If the response of the Justice Ministry is delayed, the court will not be able to question Pamuk, and the court hearing might be postponed.

4. The Justice Ministry might respond to the request of the court by saying that it was not authorized to make decisions about the trial. In this case the court will have to make a decision about this response.

According to Yeni Şafak daily newspaper, Jusice Minister Cemil Çiçek has signaled that he might refuse to give green light to the trial of Orhan Pamuk.

Çiçek says that he was authorized to make a decision about the suit filed against Pamuk.




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