Writer Gürsel has been acquitted of ‘denigrating religious values’ with his book ‘Allah’s Daughters’.
Erol ÖNDEROĞLU, email@example.com
Istanbul – BİA News Center
26 June 2009, Friday
Writer Nedim Gürsel, author of the book ‘Allah’s Daughters’, has been acquitted of ‘denigrating religious values’ and ‘inciting the public to hatred and hostility’ by the Şişli 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
Following the complaint of an Ali Emre Bukağılı, the writer had been taken to court, and faced a second trial after a second complaint on 19 November 2008 when the second edition of the novel came out.
The two court cases were merged at the hearing on 26 May, and the acquittal followed yesterday (25 June). The court said that ‘the novel as a whole does not have any criminal intent and does not represent a crime.’
Head judge Hakkı Yalçınkaya argued that the excerpts cited in the complaint were misleading. Thus the expression, ‘Allah’s daughters, lying stretched out, completely naked’ was to be found neither on page 120 of the book nor anywhere else. The expression ‘Allah’s beloved subjects’ on page 120 was wrongly cited as ‘Allah’s lovers’ in the complaint.
The court further declared that a statement from the Istanbul police showed that the publication of the book had not resulted in any events disturbing the public peace, that the book was generally a novel, trying to represent events experienced by a person living during the time of the Prophet Muhammet and extending to events during the First World War.
Acquittal under Article 216
The court thus decreed that Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code, which deals with denigration of people based on social class, ethnicity, religious affiliation or region of origin, as well as the denigratiof of religious values held by a section of society, was not applicable.
The writer’s lawyer, Şeyhnaz Yüzer argued in court that there were no criminal elements in the book according to Article 216 and criticised the fact that a theology professor, İlyas Çelebi, had been asked for an opinion.
If the complaining party does not appeal against the decree within seven days, the acquittal will be confirmed. (EÖ/AG)