Turkish Parliament Passes Amendment To Article 301

The Turkish Parliament passed a bill early today amending the controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) which limited freedom of speech and criminalized insulting "Turkishness". The bill was adopted with 250 in favor to 65 votes against.

In the new bill, which made cosmetic changes only, the term "Turkishness" is replaced by the "Turkish nation," and the term "Republic" with "State of the Republic of Turkey". The amended article gives Turkish justice minister the authority to approve any investigation and/or prosecution under 301.

The European Union has been urging Turkey to eliminate – or amend – the Article 301, which has been the basis for charges against many Turkish writers and journalists.

Source: Hurriyet, Turkey, April 30, 2008

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