Turkey paves way for prosecution in Armenian apology campaign

Turkey paves way for prosecution in Armenian apology campaign

A Turkish court annulled Monday a ruling that dismissed demands for the criminal prosecution of individuals who initiated an Internet campaign to issue a public apology to Armenians, broadcaster NTV reported. (UPDATED)

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The prosecutors' office in Ankara in January had ruled against demands for the criminal prosecution of around 200 Turkish intellectuals who launched a website issuing an apology to Armenians regarding the 1915 incidents, which had also called for people to sign on in support.

 

There has been no need for criminal prosecution on the legal grounds that opposing opinions are also protected under freedom of thought in democratic societies, the prosecutors' office said in its ruling after completing its investigation regarding a petition calling for the organizers of the apology campaign to be charged with "insulting the Turkish nation openly" under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

 

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The High Criminal Court in the Sincan district of the Turkish capital of Ankara annulled the prosecutors' office ruling on Monday, broadcaster NTV said.

 

Armenia, with the backing of the diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915.Turkey rejects the claims saying that 300,000 Armenians, along with at least as many Turks, died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms, backed by Russia, for independence in eastern Anatolia.

 

The issue remains unsolved as Armenia drags its feet on accepting Turkey's proposal to form an independent commission to investigate the claims.

 

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