Tag Archives: Dink

Turkey’s Article 301 Fails Test Of Free Speech

Turkey has been attempting to meet demands from the European Union that its constitution respects the right of free speech. A particular source of friction between the EU and the Turish government revolves around the infamous Aricle 301 of the Turkish constitution which makes it a crime to insult “Turkishness.” The government is proposing to change the word from “Turkishness” to the “Turkish nation” as though that change would satisfy the European Union. Under the proposed change the maximum punishment would be two years and prosecution for violation would rest solely in the hands of the President of Turkey. Critics point out saying the “Turkish nation” only adds to confusion unless it is specified as to exactly what is meant by the “Turkish nation.” Erdal Dogan, lawyer for the Turkish-Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, who was prosecuted for violating Aritcle 301, said the proposed change was cosmetic and meaningless.

Turkey is a mature democratic nation which is governed by intelligent people. They do not need to be protected against free speech, they are quite capable of handling such situations in the court of public opinion. The only solution is getting rid of this Article and not replacing it with anything.