Pamuk vs. Turkish Government: Final Act

The Turkish government has dropped its case against Orhan Pamuk. The writer had been accused of “insulting Turkishness” because he had spoken about the (well documented) genocide of Armenians in 1915.

Though I’m sure, dear reader, that you’re relieved to hear that such ridiculous charges have been dismissed, it isn’t actually a victory for freedom of speech. Quite the contrary, it is a loss, because the law which made it possible to try Pamuk (article 301 of the new penal code) is still, apparently, in effect. While it is true that the law is open to interpretation (the prosecutor who brought charges against Pamuk was reported to be someone who was trying to make a name for himself) the fact remains that such prosecutions are likely to continue to happen. The difference is that we probably won’t hear about it.