Orhan Pamuk leaving a Turkish courtroom on 16 December (epa)
26 December 2005 -- A group of Turkish writers, academics, journalists, and artists today called on the government to rescind laws that limit freedom of expression.
The group of 169 intellectuals issued a statement urged the government to do away with a law that makes it a crime to insult the Turkish republic, "Turkishness," or state institutions.
Award-winning Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk has been charged under that law in a case that has sparked European Union criticism.
The group called Pamuk's trial "a grave interference in our country's democratization process."
Pamuk was charged with insulting the country after telling a Swiss newspaper in February that "30,000 Kurds and 1 million Armenians were killed in these lands, and nobody but me dares to talk about it."