It is not the novelist on trial, it is Turkey itself. That is the warning to Ankara from the European Union ahead of a case that opens tomorrow against Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk.
The award-winning author has been charged with insulting Turkey after he said a million Armenians were killed in massacres in World War One, as well as 30,000 Kurds in recent decades. Ankara rejects accusations of genocide against Armenians. The novelist faces up to three years in jail. The European Union started accession talks with Turkey in October. EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn says the case is a litmus test on whether Turkey is seriously committed to “the freedom of expression and reforms that enhance the rule of law”.