A Turkish prosecutor has dropped a probe into a campaign to apologize for the Ottoman mass killings of Armenians, citing laws protecting freedom of speech, the Anatolia news agency reported Monday.
The prosecutor decided there was no ground to bring charges over the petition because "in democratic societies opponent opinions are protected within the scope of freedom of expression," Anatolia said.
The probe was launched earlier this month after several Ankara residents filed a complaint asking for the organizers and signatories of an Internet petition apologizing for the deaths to be punished for "openly denigrating the Turkish nation", an offence that carries two years in prison.
The petition, posted online on December 15, states that the signatory "does not accept... the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915." It ends with an offer of apologies.
The text, which refrains from using the term "genocide" to describe the massacres, has been signed by more than 28,000 people, among them intellectuals and artists.