Shafak Acquitted

Predictably, Elif Shafak has been acquitted of the charge that she had “insulted Turkishness” in her most recent novel, Father and Bastard. Shafak was not present at her trial–she delivered her first child on Saturday. The name of that baby girl is Sheherazad. A wise choice, and one that prosecutors ought to pay attention to. Their intimidations will not stop the woman from telling stories.

Article 301, which made the charges against Shafak possible, is still in the books, although there is a tiny hope that the government might reform its ways:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also welcomed the verdict and signalled that the government would consider amending Article 301 of Turkey’s penal code. It envisages up to three years in jail for “denigrating Turkish national identity”.

“The ruling party and the opposition can sit down together again to discuss this issue as laws are not eternal,” Anatolia news agency quoted Mr Erdogan as saying.

So it’s wait and see at this point.

(Thanks to N. and S. for the link.)

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