Article 301 of the penal code has been used to prosecute Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and other intellectuals. Since 2003, hundreds of people have been tried under the controversial law for “insulting Turkishness”.
However, critics argue the amendments do not go far enough. Insulting the Turkish nation will still be a crime, punishable by two years in jail. Parliament voted 250-65 in favor of a government-backed proposal to make changes to the law late on Tuesday night.
Under the reformed law:
It will be a crime to insult the Turkish nation, rather than Turkishness.
The justice minister will be required to open each case.
The maximum sentence will be two years in jail, rather than three.
The EU has long called for changes to Article 301, arguing that the law places severe restrictions on free speech in Turkey. The issue has threatened to scupper Turkey’s EU accession talks.
Amazing and inexcusable that any country in the civil world would ever have this kind of laws! I hope you noticed that the Turks …soften the law!!! these are very …slow steps towards democracy!