Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: How to Stop the Spiral? Israel Readies For Ground Offensive

Read more

FOCUS

Ireland's missing babies casting light on a dark history...

Read more

WEB NEWS

World Cup 2014: Germany-Brazil inspires the Web

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Boutros-Ghali: 'I wanted to reform the UN'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

57 000 little problems

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Sarkozy 'threat'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget challenge for India's new government

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Africa's Newest Failed State: How to Stop Civil War and Famine in South Sudan?

Read more

  • French companies will have to accept anonymous CVs

    Read more

  • Germany asks US intelligence station chief to leave country

    Read more

  • Death toll rises in Gaza as militants target Israeli cities

    Read more

  • Senegalese man awarded French visa in gay marriage debate

    Read more

  • Tour de France passes WWI Chemin des Dames battlefield

    Read more

  • Video: Muslims in China confront obstacles to Ramadan fasting

    Read more

  • Israel steps up airstrikes as diplomacy gets under way

    Read more

  • Argentina beat Netherlands on penalties to reach World Cup final

    Read more

  • Foiled French jihadist ‘targeted Louvre and Eiffel Tower’

    Read more

  • Obama in Texas to urge congressional action on child migrant crisis

    Read more

  • Iraq’s heritage 'in danger' from ISIS militants

    Read more

  • Froome crashes out of Tour de France

    Read more

  • South Sudan independence heroes ‘have lost their way’

    Read more

  • 100 years on, the Tour de France returns to the Western Front

    Read more

  • Dozens of blindfolded bodies found south of Baghdad

    Read more

Europe

Turkish novelist on trial for insulting Islam

©

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-05-05

The author Nedim Gürsel faces between one and three years in prison on charges of insulting Islam in his latest novel 'The Daughters of Allah'.

Watch the FRANCE 24 interview of Nedim Gursel.

Franco-Turkish writer Nedim Gürsel was prosecuted 30 years ago for “morally offending the public", then again several years later for assaulting a security officer. He is once again sought after by the law, this time for “denigrating the religious values of part of the population” in his latest novel, 'The Daughters of Allah'.

 

The novelist, appearing before an Istanbul court Tuesday, risks imprisonment for one to three years. It is the same court that prosecuted Orhan Pamuk, winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize for literature, for “insulting the Turkish nation.” Spending his time between France and Turkey, Gürsel has no desire to attend his own trial. “I made a deposition 15 days ago before a judge. I have already explained myself to the Turkish justice system,” Gürsel told FRANCE 24 with a calm and determined tone on the eve of the trial.

 



The author added: “I am a bit surprised. The investigation in August 2008 [several months after the publication of 'The Daughters of Allah' in Turkey] ended at an impasse. I thought the matter was closed.”

 

But a government official in charge of religious affairs took a different view and resurfaced the charges a few months ago, in a report accusing Gürsel of blasphemy.

 

30,000 copies sold in Turkey


“My crime is to have written allegorically and imaginatively of the advent of Islam, with the utmost respect for Muslims, but also I took the liberty of examining all forms of religious beliefs… Should I remind you again that this is a novel and not a theological textbook?” said the author in an open letter, to Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published April 30 in the Turkish daily Milliyet.

 

“This is a novel, written from several points of view, that describes the advent of Islam in the sixth century,” the author told FRANCE 24. “To go after a novelist in the 21st century seems anachronistic.”

 

Morever, last February, Erdogan said in no uncertain terms that Turkey was no longer “a nation that judges writers.” Gürsel pointed this out. “I thought that Turkey had made progress in the freedom of expression,” he said.

 

Over 30,000 copies of the novel were sold in Turkey. 'The Daughters of Allah' is scheduled to hit the shelves in France in the second half of 2009.

Date created : 2009-05-05

Comments

COMMENT(S)