muazzez_cig.jpgMuazzez Ilmiye Cig is a 92 year old Turkish archaeologist and Sumerologist who devoted her entire life to ancient history and culture of Anatolia and Mesopotamia. She worked with Samual Noah Kramer for a long time, in 1950’s, during his study on ancient Sumerian clay tablets and cylinder seals. Muazzez Cig is the “living legend” of archaeology and Sumerology and one of the very few master scholars of this science in the world. Now, after this very brief introduction, let’s see what she is about to face in her home land, Turkey, for her scientific works. AFP report, via The Australian:

An eminent 92-year-old Turkish archaeologist is to go on trial for inciting religious hatred because she angered Islamist circles with a scientific paper saying that the use of headscarves by women dated back to pre-Islamic sexual rites.

Muazzez Ilmiye Cig, who devoted her career to studying the Sumerians, the first known urban civilisation dating from the 4th millennium BC, is to appear in court on November 1 in Istanbul, her editor Ismet Ogutucu said.

In a book published last year, Cig said the headscarf – a controversial issue in Turkey – was first worn by Sumerian priestesses initiating young people into sex, but without prostituting themselves.

A lawyer from the western city of Izmir took offence and filed a complaint against Cig, resulting in a prosecutor charging both her and her publisher with “inciting hatred based on religious differences”.

If convicted, the two risk up to three years in jail.

Jailing Muazzez Cig, this brave and devoted scholar, for whom her country should be proud of? Well, what can a sensible person say here, except “Shame on you, Turkey”? Read the full story here.

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