PositionEuropean Union - Brief article

In the face of strong criticism from the European Union, the Turkish government has drafted a proposal to amend of the infamous Article 301 of the country's Penal Code which restricts freedom of speech. A bill amending the article, which provides up to four years in jail for "insulting Turkishness," is now ready to be sent to the parliament, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin confirmed on 7 January. "The work [on the draft] has been finalised. I believe the proposal could be submitted to parliament this week," Sahin said.

The EU has been strongly criticising Turkish prosecutors for using Article 301 as a tool to restrict freedom of expression of non-violent opinions, inter alia, contesting the official line on the World War I massacres of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire, by journalists, writers and scholars. Dozens of intellectuals, including 2006 Nobel literature laureate Orhan Pamuk, have been tried under the provision for "insulting Turkishness" by calling the Armenian massacre a genocide. In...

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