Archaeologist acquitted on anti-Turkish charges

November 1, 2006 12:21

A court in Istanbul on Wednesday acquitted a 92-year-old retired archaeologist who was tried for saying that Islamic-style head scarves date back more than 5,000 years - several millennia before the birth of Islam - and were worn by priestesses who initiated young men into sex. Muazzez Ilmiye Cig, an expert on the ancient Sumerian civilization of Mesopotamia, which arose around the third millennium BCE, was the latest person to go on trial in Turkey for expressing opinions, despite intense European Union pressure on the country to expand freedom of expression.

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