Tuesday, January 29, 2008
In what is one of a number of similar proceedings in which academics and other intellectuals have been charged under Turkish Penal Code article 301 with "insulting Turkishness," Professor Atilla Yayla has been sentenced to fifteen months in prison for that crime, for suggesting that the country's secular founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, was not as progressive as he has been portrayed in official writings. Prosecutors had asked for a maximum of five years. The court suspended the sentence. Professor Yayla's attorneys will appeal. Defendants in such proceedings and their supports charge that these cases are attempts by the government to stifle freedom of speech and thought. Read more here in a BBC report.