A Turkish prosecutor has opened an investigation that could lead to criminal charges against the authors of an online apology for Armenians, state-run news agency Anatolian reported on Friday.
The state prosecutor in Ankara is probing whether the group of intellectuals who offered the apology violated Article 301 of the Turkish penal code, which criminalises "insulting the Turkish people," Anatolian reported.
A group of Turkish intellectuals and academicians issued an apology to Armenians on the internet for the events of 1915, boosting a nationwide discussion.
Turkey changed Article 301 last year in response to EU criticism and the law requires the Justice Minister to approve any court case, but conviction still carries a jail sentence.
The group of writers, academics and other intellectuals set up a petition at www.ozurdiliyoruz.com (We Are Sorry) that offered Armenians a personal apology.
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said last month that the online petition could undermine efforts to improve relations with neighbouring Armenia, with which Turkey has no diplomatic ties. The two sides launched talks last year on normalising relations.
Last Mod: 09 Ocak 2009, 17:22