Istanbul – Turkish writer Nedim Gursel appeared in court Tuesday to reject allegations of insulting Islam in his latest novel, “Allah’s Daughters.”
Gursel, who makes his home in France, called the court proceedings regrettable and irritating and insisted that his book did not undermine religious values.
The proceedings were adjourned until June 26.
After the Tuesday session, he told the German Press Agency dpa in Istanbul that “I had expected an acquittal…I have come to defend my novel.”
He conceded that after the court adjournment, there was “reason for concern.”
Gursel, is along with Yasar Kemal and Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk is among the leading contemporary Turkish novelists. His works have often been censored in Turkey, especially during the period of the military dictatorship in the 1980s.
“I thought those times were over,” he commented about the censorship. If Turkey wanted to be accepted into the European Union, it must respect the freedom of opinion, he said.
“Allah’s Daughters” takes place in the 7th Century and raises questions about faith and violence in Islam. Gursel said the book is done with respect shown to the faithful.
In the court proceedings, Gursel is also accused of insulting the Prophet Mohammed and his wives. (dpa)