The aquittal in a Beyoglu courtroom yesterday of 93 year old Turkish historian Muazzez Ilmiye Cig, who had been brought to trial on the basis of the controversial article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, on charges of "inciting hatred and provocation in Turkish people," was the cause for applause outside the courtroom by crowds who had come to support her.
The case against Cig rested on her recent book "My Reactions to Citizenship," as well as to an article she had written in 1999 entitled "The Truths About Why Our Girls Cover Their Heads," in which she maintained that some of the first women to wear headscarves were Sumerian prostitutes.
Speaking yesterday at her hearing, Cig said "I have never wanted to be a separationist or a divisive person in the face of the Turkish people. I am a product of Ataturk's revolution. I do not accept the charges." Judge Mehmet Akilli dismissed the charges against Cig as being insufficient. As Cig left the courtroom, she was met by large crowds of supporters and a thundering wave of applause.