International Figures Condemn Turkey for Dink Conviction

(Combined Sources)–A long list of international artists–academics–literary figures–and journalists have forwarded a letter of protest to the Turkish government asking it to guarantee the political rights of Turkish citizens.

Peter Balakian–Atom Egoyan–David Barsamian–Tessa Hoffman–Halil Berktay–Noam Chomsky–Ronald Suny–Vahakn Dadrian–and Alfred de Zayas are among the 260 signatories of a letter that was sent to not only Turkish president Sezer and prime minister Erdogan–but to also the head of the country’s parliament–Minster of Justice–and international human rights organizations–the European Union–the international press–and appropriate US organizations.

The letter specifically condemns the conviction of Hrant Dink–editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos. Dink–who received a six-month suspended term–was found guilty of "insulting and weakening Turkish identity through the media" in articles about the Ottoman Empire’s massacre of Armenia’s.

The letter also denounces cases involving the vice-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Democratic People’s Party–publisher Ragip Zarakolu for "insulting Ataturk," and Orhan Pamuk.

Pamuk received Germany’s highest literary honor–the German Publishers’ Peace prize at the 57th Frankfurt book fair last week. But in his native country–he is scheduled to go on trial in December for saying: "thirty-thousand Kurds and one million Armenia’s were killed in these lands."

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