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Turkish Court Overturns Journalist's Conviction

Hrant Dink (file photo) (AFP) 24 February 2006 -- A Turkish appeals court today overturned the conviction of a Turkish journalist of Armenian descent on charges of insulting Turkish national identity.

Hrant Dink, the editor of the Turkish-Armenian weekly "Agos," was convicted and given a six-month suspended sentence in July for a series of articles that judges ruled were insulting.

He was sentenced under a clause in the Turkish penal code that the EU has criticized as being incompatible with freedom of expression. The EU has asked Turkey to change the clause or risk endangering its EU bid.

The appeals court in Ankara said on 24 February that the conviction was based on "faulty assessments" and ordered a new trial.

Two weeks ago, another court acquitted Dink of similar charges relating to his criticism four years ago of the Turkish national anthem and national oath.