Now this is an extremely interesting twist with regard to Islamic style probes, because it is the Turkish authorities who are examining Richard Dawkin’s book on the grounds of the possibility that the book is an attack on religious values. The party at risk in this story is not Dawkins, but the publisher.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish prosecutor has launched a probe into whether a book by best-selling atheist writer Richard Dawkins is an attack on religious values — a move that could lead to the prosecution of the book’s Turkish publisher.
“The God Delusion” has sold some 6,000 copies in Turkey.
Publisher Erol Karaaslan said he would be questioned by an Istanbul prosecutor on Wednesday as part of the official investigation into Dawkins’ book, “The God Delusion.”
Karaaslan could face trial and up to one year in prison if the prosecutor concludes that the book “incites religious hatred” and insults religious values, Milliyet newspaper reported. Karaaslan is both the publisher and translator of the book.
The investigation of the British scientist’s book comes at a time when Turkey has been criticized for targeting writers and intellectuals for expressing opinions. The European Union, which Turkey hopes to join, is pressing Ankara to change laws that curb free expression, calling them inconsistent with the bloc’s free speech standards.
Turkey said this month it would soften a much-criticized law that makes denigrating Turkish identity, or insulting the country’s institutions, a crime.
A probe was launched into “The God Delusion” after one reader complained that passages in the book were an assault on “sacred values,” Karaaslan said.
No one was available for comment at the prosecutor’s office.