'Turkey must drop Pamuk charges': book trade

2nd September 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 September 2005, FRANKFURT - Germany's book trade, which is to hand its most prestigious annual award, the Peace Prize, to Orhan Pamuk next month, called Friday on Istanbul prosecutors to abandon charges against the author of denigrating Turkey.

2 September 2005

FRANKFURT - Germany's book trade, which is to hand its most prestigious annual award, the Peace Prize, to Orhan Pamuk next month, called Friday on Istanbul prosecutors to abandon charges against the author of denigrating Turkey.

It was reported on Wednesday that the novelist is to go on trial on December 16 for saying, "Thirty thousand Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it."

Turkey denies that a genocide of Armenians took place during World War One and claims that the numbers of people who died were much lower than the 1.5 million figure that is often cited.

Dieter Schormann, chairman of the Boersenverein, the group representing both publishers and booksellers in Germany, said, "We protest. We demand the Turkish state ceases proceedings against Orhan Pamuk.

"The freedom of the word is one of the fundamental values of a democratic society."

The German Book Trade Peace Prize council also criticized the prosecution Friday. Pamuk is set to receive the prize, worth EUR 25,000, on October 23 in a ceremony attended by German leaders in the Church of St. Paul in Frankfurt.

While Pamuk did not actually use the word genocide, his acknowledgement that 1 million Armenians were killed was enough to raise the ire of extreme nationalists in Turkey who called for his books to be banned.

Pamuk's books include "My Name is Red" and "Snow". The latter was named in the New York Times Top 10 books for 2004. His books have been translated into 34 languages.

DPA

Subject: German news

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