The trial of a novelist accused of inciting religious hatred in his last novel The daughters of Allah opened and adjourned in Istanbul yesterday. Nedim Grsel, who lives in Paris and is being tried in absentia, faces between one and
three years in jail if convicted.
The court heard testimony from the plaintiff Ali Emre Bukagili, a follower of Adnan Oktar who is known for his belief in creationism and rejection of the Darwinian theory of evolution. He said he was offended by the book because it was insulting to the Prophet and the Koran. Freedom of expression has limits.
The public prosecutor has recommended acquitting the author on the grounds that an imminent and clear public order danger as required by the law has not been established. The novel was published in 2008. The case was adjourned to May 26.
A Turkish author on trial after being charged with inciting religious hatred in a novel based on the birth of Islam said that his book was fiction, but the result of extensive research and consultation with religious leaders, and therefore could
not be called blasphemous.
An Istanbul court on Tuesday adjourned the trial of the author, Nedim Gursel, until June 25.
An Istanbul court has acquitted the Turkish novelist Nedim Gürsel of inciting religious hatred with the publication of his novel The Daughters of Islam .
The judgment cited errors in the original complaint, and concluded that there had been no criminal intent in the publication of the novel.
The decision brings to an end a process that has lasted for more than a year, after a private citizen accused the novel of denigrating religious values under article 216 of the Turkish penal code, a complaint supported in a rare intervention by
the Turkish directorate of religious affairs.
Speaking by phone from his home in France the author said he was happy and even relieved to be acquitted of a charge which carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail.
He had been worried when the directorate intervened, he continued, particularly because the evidence they submitted reproduced the errors in the original complaint, confusing the phrase Allah's servants in the book with the phrase Allah's lovers,
and citing a description of Allah's daughters lying completely naked that did not appear in the novel.
This means that the directorate wanted to condemn me without even having read the book, he said.
An appeal may be lodged against the decision within seven days, but Gürsel considered it unlikely that a higher court would reverse the decision, since a police report concluded that the publication of the book had not disturbed the peace, a
vital part of any prosecution for blasphemy under article 216.
The author pronounced himself satisfied with the verdict, but sad that the trial had degraded the image of Turkey in the eyes of democratic countries. The offence of blasphemy shouldn't even exist in a secular republic, which is what Turkey
considers itself to be.
A Turkish court has accepted an indictment filed against a man who allegedly insulted Islamic values online.
The lawsuit was filed against AMS. over his remarks allegedly insulting Islamic beliefs on Eksi Sozluk (Sour Times) , a website on which contributors share their comments on various issues and incidents in Turkey.
Prosecutor Altinok, who says the suspect went beyond the limits of freedom of speech by ridiculing Muslim prayer rituals and the Islamic belief that the universe was created by God, seeks up to one-and-a-half years in jail for AMS.
AMS said in his testimony that he did not intend to commit a crime nor to target a group or individual with his comments.
World-famous Turkish pianist Fazil Say has appeared in court in Istanbul charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims.
The indictment against him cites some of his tweets from April, including one where he says:
I am not sure if you have also realised it, but if there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it's always an Islamist.
Dozens of the pianist's supporters gathered outside the courthouse with banners, one of which called on the ruling Islamist-based AK Party to leave the artists alone .Say has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony
Orchestra and others, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the EU.
Egemen Bagis, Turkey's minister in charge of relations with the EU, suggested the case against him should be dismissed, saying the court should regard his tweets as being within his right to babble ...BUT... Bagis also criticised
the pianist for insulting people's faith and values .
Fasil Say appeared in an Istanbul court on October 18 and was charged with hate speech and insulting religion for Twitter messages mocking the conduct and beliefs of Islamic fundamentalists.
In one tweet, he commented on a muezzin, who calls Muslims to prayer, for his hurried style. Apparently reflecting his distaste for the spread of fundamentalism in Turkey, Say tweeted a complaint about a call to prayer that lasted only 22
seconds, and added, Why such haste? Do you have a mistress or a glass of raki [Turkish liquor] waiting?
In another message, he quoted the classical Persian poet Omar Khayyam, who asked if heaven should be considered a tavern or whorehouse, since it is described in the Koran as a place where wine is served by virgins.
A third tweet by Say remarked, I am not sure if you have also realized it, but if there's a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it is always an Islamist.
The Turkish prosecutors in the case argued that Say's tweets threatened public order. Say's case was adjourned until next February.
About 100 people demonstrated against his indictment in front of the court in Istanbul, and members of the German Bundestag from across the political spectrum expressed their concern at the repressive attitude of the Erdogan regime. Many
prominent Turkish personalities, including Egemen Bagis, Erdogan's cabinet minister for relations with the European Union, have also called for the case to be dismissed.
Turkey's TV censor has fined a television channel for insulting religious values after it aired an episode of The Simpsons that shows the religious character God taking orders from the Devil.
Radio and television censor RTUK said it was fining private broadcaster CNBC-e 52,951-lira ( £ 18,600) over the episode featuring the devil asking God to make him a coffee.
Elected a decade ago with the strongest majority seen in years, prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK party have overseen a period of unprecedented prosperity in Turkey. But concerns are growing about authoritarianism and
critics of the government say it is trying to impose Islamic values by stealth.
An Istanbul court has sentenced Turkish-Armenian writer Sevan Nisanyan to 58 weeks in prison for an alleged insult to the religious character Muhammad in a blog post. The charges were insulting the religious beliefs held by a section of the
Nisanyan was charged with blasphemy after writing a blog post titled:
[We] need to fight hate speech. Making fun of an Arab leader who claimed he contacted Allah hundreds of years ago and received political, financial and sexual benefits is not hate speech,
On May 22, the day of the sentencing, Nisanyan bravely retweeted his blog post, writing:
Let's share the article that was sentenced to 13-and-a-half months at the Istanbul 10th Criminal Court for insulting religious bla-bla.
A Turkish court handed a 15-month jail term to a teacher over Twitter posts deemed religiously offensive, local media reported.
The court in the city of Mus ruled that the man, identified as Ertan P., supposedly insulted Islamic values with his Twitter handle @allah, and a series of tweets he posted. Pretending to tweet as God, he wrote:
In my present state of mind, I would not have created the little finger of human beings.
Here (heaven) is very safe because there is no police.