An Appeal for Dismissal of Charges Against Muazzez Ilmiye Çig
We, the undersigned members of the International Association for Assyriology and other colleagues with interest in the Ancient Near East are deeply alarmed by news reports that Muazzez Ilmiye Çig is to defend herself in court against charges of inciting religious hatred. She is accused of belittling Muslim practices when she disclosed information on the use of headdresses and scarves by Sumerian women millennia ago.
A veteran researcher who, throughout a long career, has contributed to the recovery of the ancient past, Dr. Çig is a model representative of Turkish contribution to scholarship. She has been tireless in propagating the knowledge acquired from ancient documents. The specific issue she raises about the significance of the use of scarves in antiquity cannot have reference to religiously sanctioned practices in our own days. It should be a subject for discussion among historians of past cultures rather than of clerics, lawyers, and judges.
We appeal to Turkish officials with influence on this matter to work for dismissal of all charges against Professor Muazzez Ilmiye Çig.
Jack M. Sasson, President
Wilfred H. van Soldt, Secretary
If you want to sign this appeal, please send an email to Wilfred van Soldt by Monday November 6. Give your name, any relevant title, and the institution to which you belong.
See my October 22 post Muazzez Çığ for more information.
November 2 post Dr. Çig quickly cleared in court.