In December, the Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk will appear in a court of his country for he dared to affirm to a Swiss newspaper that Turkey had killed 30 000 Kurds and one million Armenians, but the issue was still a taboo. This trial contravenes freedom of speech and it is necessary to be finalized with a dismissal report. However, those in the West who want to use this accusation to attack the Turkish candidacy should take into consideration the path taken over the last ten years.
Debates continue in Turkey, even about the issue of Armenia. Besides, the judicial system that incriminates Pamuk is divided between those who have a moderate and liberal vision and those who oppose any opening. Eight years ago, Yasar Kemal, for having criticized the Kurdish policy of Ankara, was sentenced to 20 months on probation, a sentence that would be effective to withdraw his words in five years. At that time, Turkey was implementing a policy that brought about the death of 30 000 people and hundreds of thousands of refugees. Nowadays, this war has ended and Turkey is opening under the influence of the European Union. The Turkish want democratization.
The trial against Pamuk should be seen as part of a battle. Those who attack Turkey for cultural reasons (adjective that has to be understood as “religious”) are better allies of the nationalists who oppose the shift.

International Herald Tribune (France)
The International Herald Tribune is a version of the New York Times adapted for the European public. It works in direct association with Haaretz (Israel), Kathimerini (Greece), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), JoongAng Daily (South Korea), Asahi Shimbun (Japan), The Daily Star (Lebanon) and El País (Spain). It also works, through its head office, in indirect association with Le Monde (France).

Free-speech case can’t hide progress”, by Soli Ozel, International Herald Tribune, September 8, 2005.