YEREVAN (ArmRadio)–The Turkish Government will change the much-criticized Article 301 of the penal code that penalizes insulting “Turkishness” before the release of Turkey’s European Union Progress Report in early November, the Turkish Daily News reports.
Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code criminalizes insulting the republic, the state, the judiciary and the military. However, the part that has received the most criticism is the penalties imposed for insulting “Turkishness.”
Many authors and journalists were prosecuted for insulting “Turkishness” based on Article 301. Insulting “Turkishness” has usually meant opposing the state version of events on issues like the Armenian Genocide and terrorism. Among those prosecuted are novelist Orhan Pamuk and Elif Shafak, journalists Hrant Dink, and academics Baskin Oran and Ibrahim Kaboghlu.
Many see Article 301 as a violation of the freedom of expression and the EU has been demanding its removal in order for Turkey to continue its membership process.