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European Parliament Priorities for Turkey Following the Elections of the 12th of June 2012: the Need for “Uzlaşma”

private individuals, politicians and journalists for insulting him. However, this gesture did not help with ensuring freedom of expression for journalists and people in the country as a whole. Criticism of the armed forces can also bring prosecution under Article 305 (undermining basic national interests) or 318 (inciting abstention from compulsory military service), and is punishable by between six months and two years in prison. Law 5816 (1951) punishes those who insult the legacy of the founder of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and article 130 of the Penal Code provides between three months and two years in prison for “defaming the memory of a deceased person.” Those articles of the Penal Code are frequently and randomly used to prosecute or intimidate journalists since punishment of most of these crimes doubles if committed through media. The Anti-Terror Law In addition to the provisions the Criminal Code, the Anti-Terror Law has also a bearing on freedom of expression. Since 1991, this law was aimed at the Kurdish dispute in Southeastern Anatolia severely punishing the terrorist threats. On 2006, despite the amendment of the law, there are still many provisions used against journalists. The provision most often used against journalists is Article 6, which provides for between one and three years imprisonment for “those who announce that the crimes of a terrorist organization are aimed at certain persons, whether or not such persons are named, or who disclose or publish the identity of officials on anti-terrorist duties, or who identify such persons as targets” and “those who print or publish leaflets and declarations of terrorist organizations.” Article 7 provides between one and five years imprisonment for anyone “making propaganda” for a “terrorist organization” whereas the term “propaganda” is not clearly defined. This code is randomly used for pro-Kurdish media outlets and journalists who investigate the Kurdish issue. For instance, On June 13, 2011, the following day after the third landslide victory of AKP, Turkey’s only Kurdish-language daily, Azadiya Welat, was suspended again (for the ninth time) for 15 days and all copies ordered seized for allegedly printing “propaganda for a terrorist organization.”

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ASLI TUNÇ

Turkey on the European Doorstep  

A Publication based on the International Conference organised at the European Parliament/Brussels by Dr. ELENI THEOCHAROUS, Member of the Eu...

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