Orhan Pamuk faced a trial under the controversial Article 301 after saying "30,000 Kurds and one million Armenians were killed on this soil" in an interview in Switzerland. He was accused of "denigrating Turkishness". The Ministry of Justice withheld permission for prosecution, so the case was dropped.
The criminal case was dropped, yet he still faces compensation claims.
Six people filed compensation claim
Pakize Alp Akbaba, president of the Istanbul Mothers of Martyrs Solidarity and Support Association, lawyer Kemal Kerinçsiz, himself now a detained defendant in the Ergenekon trial, and four other people have demanded 36,000 Liras compensation.
The Şişli 3rd Civil Court of First Instance in Istanbul has twice rejected the compensation claims.
According to the Radikal newspaper, the Şişli court had decreed that no one could claim compensation for "an attack on personal rights" just for being a member of the Turkish nation.
However, the plaintiffs lodged an appeal, and the 4th Chamber of the Supreme Court of Appeals decreed that the plaintiffs fulfilled the conditions for making a claim. If personal rights had been attacked, it decreed, the legislation should be applied.
The Supreme Court pointed out that according to Article 66 of the Constitution, "Everyone connected to the Turkish State with the bond of citizenship is Turkish", and that just as individuals had honour, feelings of belonging to a nation were also part of personal values.
When the Şişli court rejected the compensation claim for a second time, the case was sent to the Supreme Court of Appeal's General Assembly, which again overturned the local court's decree.
It now remains to be seen whether the Şişli court will resist the Supreme Court a third time...(EÖ/AG)
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