updated 10/11/2007 5:58:33 PM ET 2007-10-11T21:58:33

The son of a journalist killed earlier this year after calling the massacre of Armenians a genocide was convicted Thursday of insulting Turkey’s identity for republishing his father’s remarks.

Arat Dink, editor of the Armenian newspaper Agos, and publisher Serkis Seropyan each received a one-year suspended sentence for “insulting Turkishness,” said their lawyer, Erdal Dogan. He said they would appeal the sentences.

Dink is the son of ethnic Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was convicted of the same charge for calling the killing of Armenians during World War I genocide. He had appealed the conviction before he was killed by a Turkish youth in January.

The massacre of Armenians is one of the darkest periods in Turkish history. Armenians say up to 1.5 million people were killed in 1915-17 during the Ottoman Empire, before the birth of modern Turkey.

Turkey rejects the label “genocide,” maintaining that the death toll is inflated and insisting the killings occurred at a time of civil unrest.

The verdict for Dink and Seropyan came a day after legislators in the House of Representatives voted in favor of a nonbinding bill that declares the Armenian killings genocide — over Turkey’s objections.

“The discriminatory mentality which turned intolerance into a state tradition has yet again declared criticism and expression of opinion an insult to Turkishness and a crime,” the group Human Rights Associated said in a statement.

The European Union has pressured Turkey, which aspires to join the 27-nation bloc, to scrap the controversial law on “insulting Turkishness,” saying it restricts freedom of speech.

Some Turkish leaders, including President Abdullah Gul, also believe the law has harmed Turkey’s EU bid.

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