Convicted, But Free, in Armenia

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A Duke University doctoral student was freed Tuesday, after an Armenian court found him guilty of illegally trying to take books out of the country but suspended his two-year prison sentence.

Yektan Turkyilmaz had been held since June 17, when authorities at Yerevan Airport in Armenia yanked him off an airplane as he prepared to leave the country. They seized about 100 books that he had bought at secondhand stores and compact disks that contained notes from research he had done in the Armenian National Archives, for his dissertation on the Ottoman empire’s reign of terror in Armenia in the early 20th century. Turkyilmaz, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in cultural anthropology at Duke, had been the first Turkish citizen to request and receive access to the archives.

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