Novelist Orhan Pamuk charged for insulting "Turkishness"

A Turkish court on Monday dropped charges against internationally acclaimed novelist Orhan Pamuk, his lawyer told The Associated Press, ending a high-profile trial that outraged European Union officials and sparked questions over Turkey's commitment to free speech.

Pamuk was charged for insulting "Turkishness" in an interview with a Swiss newspaper. The court decision came at a delicate time for EU aspirant Turkey. This week, the EU is to begin a review of the country's much criticized justice system. "The court dropped the case," Haluk Inanici, the author's lawyer, told the AP by telephone.

EU legislators severely criticized the trial, questioning the commitment to freedom of expression in a country which opened membership negotiations with the bloc in October. Turkey is still not off the hook, as dozens of people are still facing charges similar to Pamuk's, reports the AP. N.U.