Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   22 June

Turkish intellectuals urge to set free linguist Sevan Nishanyan

YEREVAN, MAY 24, ARMENPRESS. A group of Turkish intellectuals issued a statement titled "Sevan Nishanyan is not Alone" in favor of Armenian linguist from Constantinople Sevan Nishanyan. As reports "Armenpress" citing Turkish Demokrathaber.net 37 intellectuals have already signed the statement. Among them are Ragıp Zarakolu, Sait Çetinoğlu, İsmail Beşikçi, Garo Kaprielian, Ali Nesin and many other distinguished figurs. 

Among other things it has been noted in the statement that they condemn that Nishanyan is sentenced to 13.5 months of imprisonment only for fact that his interpretation of the Muslim mythology differs from that of the Muslims. Arresting author, linguist, and activist Sevan Nishanyan, after convicting Fazil Say because of a poem by Omar Khayyám, means not to merely spread the Sunni Muslim intolerance in Turkey, but to make it the official viewpoint of the country.

The 14th Court of Magistrates of Istanbul sentenced prominent Armenian linguist, writer and activist from Constantinople Sevan Nishanyan to 13,5 months of imprisonment for insulting Prophet Muhammad. The claimant demanded 1,5 years of incarceration "for defying religious values." In accordance with the decision of the court the verdict cannot be eliminated in case of the fine's payment.

Previously, touching upon the verdict of the court, Sevan Nishanyan stated: "Here we encounter a systematic policy. This is not the court's decision. I am confident that the Government interfered in this case." Also he noted that this is not a common domestic policy issue, but this is an issue of foreign policy as well and the European Court of Human Rights must pay a serious attention to it."

Among other things Sevan Nishanyan underscored: "In my opinion this is a result of expression of the political will. This is not a decision of an absent-minded judge. This is an attempt to establish a legal precedent. There can be no doubt that the European Court of Human Rights will compel them to pay compensation in this case."

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