Monday, August 01, 2005
Katy also has the text of an open letter sent by 200 scholars to Armenian President Robert Kocharian and includes some additional factual information:
- the law under which Turkyilmaz is being detained can carry a sentence of 4-8 years;
- the law is the same that covers smuggling out nuclear weapons (who knew the power of books?);
- there appears to be some attempt to intimidate Turkyilmaz' research, which is into the politics of culture in eastern Anatolia (where most Armenians lived before the 1915 genocide, and which is the period of Turkyilmaz' research). His research in the National Archives has been confiscated, even the backup copy he left with a friend in the country;
- he has been held for six weeks without being able to contact family and friends, only his lawyer.
The actions of the government to seize the backup CDs indicate that the government is interested in burying Turkyilmaz' research. I can find no reports to suggest he is in any way harming the Armenian side of the story about the genocide, which the Turkish government still denies. As I write this I am bothered by the possibility that there's something here I do not know about Turkyilmaz, but based on all reports his detention is an act of injustice. If the country wants to brag about its economic freedom it should also account for its political freedom.