Turkey is apparently making an effort to burnish its tattered reputation - Elif Shafak has been acquitted.
The bestselling Turkish novelist Elif Shafak was acquitted earlier today of the charges of "insulting Turkishness" brought against her under Article 301 of Turkish law. The charges were dropped at the prosecutor's request.
Shafak faced up to three years in jail over remarks made by a fictional character in her latest novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, which referred to the massacre of Armenians in the first world war as genocide. Article 301 of the Turkish penal code criminalises the "public denigration" of Turkishness, the Turkish Republic, the Grand National Assembly, the government, judiciary, military and security services in terms so broad as to be applicable to a wide range of critical opinions. More than 60 writers have been charged under the law since its introduction last year.
It's a start but we're on record as opposing Turkey's entry into the EU until Article 301 is stricken from the books. C'mon, people - these were fictional characters. How do you look at yourselves in the mirror without embarrassment?