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Europe

Trial of author Gürsel adjourned until June

Video by Assia SHIHAB

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-05-26

The trial of Franco-Turkish writer Nedim Gürsel (pictured) on charges of inciting racial and religious hatred has been adjourned until June. Gürsel has been accused of insulting Islam in "The Daughters of Allah", a novel about the prophet.

Watch the FRANCE 24 interview of Nedim Gursel from May 4.

Nedim Gürsel left his home in Paris to come to Turkey in order to attend his trial, which is currently taking place in Istanbul.

The Franco-Turkish writer is being tried in the Turkish justice system on charges of inciting racial and religious hatred in his latest book, "The Daughters of Allah", a novel about the life of the Prophet Mohammad.

For this, he faces at least six months to a year in prison.

"I'm stressed and worried because it's not a pleasant thing to be facing a tribunal, especially for having written a novel," said Gürsel. "We tend to forget this in Turkey, but it's just a novel."

The writer is facing the same tribunal that acquitted another famous Turkish novelist, Orhan Pamuk, in 2006 for the charge of insulting Turkishness.

After less than an hour, the hearing was adjourned until June. Gürsel said he was disappointed, having hoped for an acquittal.

"The book does not contain a single sentence that insults Islam," he said. "They have been taken out of context and manipulated [it]."

Ali Emre Bukagili, who filed the complaint, a member of a religious Islamist sect, says Gürsel has offended all Muslims with his work.

"Everyone who calls themselves a Muslim is upset by this book," said Bukagili. "As a Muslim, I am personally offended."

At the opening hearing of the trial on May 5, the prosecutor had asked for an acquittal, since Gürsel poses no immediate threat to public order, but he will have to wait at least a month for the final outcome.

Date created : 2009-05-26

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