"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Thursday, September 21, 2006

More Islamic Legal News

Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code states:
1. Public denigration of Turkishness, the Republic or the Grand National Assembly of Turkey shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and three years.

2. Public denigration of the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the judicial institutions of the State, the military or security structures shall be punishable by imprisonment of between six months and two years.

3. In cases where denigration of Turkishness is committed by a Turkish citizen in another country the punishment shall be increased by one third.

4. Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime.
Amnesty International points out that the distinction between "criticism" and "denigration" attempted in paragraph 4 is "highly problematic." You think?

But surely, you say, in modern, Westernized, progressive Turkey -- the Turkey that claims it wants to become part of the European Union -- what we have here is an obsolete relic of bygone days, akin to the odd unrepealed miscegenation statute still theoretically on the books in one or another American State.

You'd be wrong. The Guardian reports:
A prize-winning novelist goes on trial tomorrow accused of belittling Turkishness in the latest and strangest of a string of cases spotlighting the country's stuttering reform process.

Elif Shafak's The Bastard of Istanbul has been at the top of Turkish bestseller lists since its publication in March, winning critical praise for its portrait of the friendship between two girls, an Armenian-American and a Turk.

But its treatment of the mass murder of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 has attracted the attention of Kemal Kerincsiz, the nationalist lawyer behind last December's trial of Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's best-known author.

In Shafak's case, he has surpassed himself, hauling her to court for comments made by characters in her novel. Sitting in his cramped Istanbul office, Mr Kerincsiz does not take long to find one of the offending passages.

"I am the grandchild of genocide survivors who lost all their relatives at the hands of Turkish butchers in 1915," he reads, quoting Dikran Stamboulian, a minor Armenian character. "There's plenty more where this came from," he says.

The prospect of being tried for the figments of her imagination strikes Shafak as grotesque. She has, though, no doubts about the seriousness of her situation. She could face three years in jail.

"My accusers will do everything they can to keep this case going," she says. "It's going to be long and tedious."
We suppose the lesson from these stories is that it's bad to live in an Islamic country, and it's worse to be a woman in an Islamic country, but being a smart woman in an Islamic country is a capital offense.

Comments on "More Islamic Legal News"


Blogger Almost Ignatius J. said ... (4:57 PM) : 

What the fez? Do they expect her to fez-up? Maybe if she said it to their fezes. But they just have to fez the facts: nobody gives a fez about Turkey.



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (5:18 PM) : 

You're a fezzing turkey.


Anonymous I enjoy all of these 'garb'led puns (get it?) said ... (12:04 AM) : 

Stop acting dashiki - that was cold. I think you should tell him you're sari.


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