In November, I blogged about the case of Fatih Tas, a Turkish publisher currently facing trial on charges of insulting the Turkish state and its founder for publishing a translation of a book which included claims that the Turkish military had been involved in widespread human rights abuses during its suppression of the Kurds in the 80's and 90's. Tas is only one of around sixty Turkish authors and publishers currently facing such charges. The most famous of them is novelist Orhan Pamuk, who is being prosecuted for an interview with a Swiss magazine in which he said
Thirty thousand Kurds and a million Armenians were killed in these lands and nobody but me dares to talk about it.
The trial has attracted significant international attention, with a delagation of MEPs travelling to Istanbul to act as observers. Now one of them, Dutch Green-Left MP Joost Lagendijk, is himself under investigation for the same "crime", for saying that the Turkish military wanted clashes with Kurdish seperatists to continue because they boosted the military's importance. In their "indictement", the group of nationalist lawyers who have laid the complaint asked
Where does he [Lagendijk] find the audacity to consider himself above and immune from Turkish laws and to insult the Turkish army and the Turkish judiciary?
Perhaps he believes that, as an aspiring member of the EU, Turkey should act like a free country where criticism of the state is allowed, rather than a tinpot dictatorship?