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Writer to be Tried on Kurdish Propaganda Charge

January 24, 1995

ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) _ An internationally renowned writer will be tried on charges of spreading propaganda for separatist Kurds, a prosecutor said Monday.

Yasar Kemal wrote in the German magazine Der Spiegel that Kurdish villages had been burned as part of the government’s battle against the 11-year insurgency in southeast Turkey. Western governments and human rights groups have made similar charges.

The government denies any military action aimed at destroying Kurdish villages. More than 14,000 people have been killed in the fighting between separatists and government troops.

Kemal’s books, including ``Mehmet the Hawk,″ have been translated into many foreign languages, including English.

Kemal is to be arraigned later this week, state prosecutor Isa Geyik told the Anatolia news agency, and he would be tried under an anti-terrorism law punishable by a 2-5-year jail sentence and a fine.

Kemal denied the charges.

``Either the Republic of Turkey will be convicted at this trial or I will be. If I am convicted, they’ll be ashamed to look into peoples’ faces,″ Kemal told reporters.

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