Author stands trial for Ataturk 'insult'

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A Turkish author went on trial yesterday for the crime of having accused Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, of having dressed as a woman to escape an assassination attempt.

Ipek Calislar faces four and a half years in prison if found guilty of insulting Ataturk's reputation.

In her best-selling biography of Ataturk's wife, Latife Ussaki, she wrote that the then Turkish president once put on a chador to disguise himself as a woman to flee the presidential palace to escape the threat to his life.

Despite Miss Calislar's insistence that the assassination attempt was "historic fact", the passage prompted a Turkish nationalist, Huseyin Tugrul Pekin, to file the suit as "it is the greatest insult to claim that Mustafa Kemal, whose courage none of us would dare judge, did something like that".

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