A court in Istanbul has freed prominent Turkish author Elif Shafak after she was accused of insulting the Turkish identity. A ruling declared there was insuffient evidence to convict the 35 year old writer who is a professor at an American university. Shafak was not in court as she gave birth last weekend. Hard line nationalists protested against her aquittal . There was a confrontation between them and supporters of the writer.
After the collapse of the case, Turkey’s prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan indicated the controversial law might be changed. “Let’s sit down and discuss this,” he said. “ We have to forge a consensus.”
The novel which prompted the case, “The Bastard of Istanbul” features fictional Armenian characters who disparage Turks and refer to a genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. Turkey has always denied systematic genocide and rejects charges that one and a half million Armenians were killed during the first world war and after.