GeriGündem Turkey aims to pass 301 amendment "immediately"
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Turkey aims to pass 301 amendment "immediately"

Turkey aims to pass 301 amendment "immediately"
refid:8710971 ilişkili resim dosyası

Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the government aims to adopt the amendment on the controversial Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code immediately. The Turkish FM later said a complete annulment of the article was not on the agenda.

Erdogan told reporters on his arrival from Qatar the related committee is still working on the amendment to the article. Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code was used to prosecute those who "insult Turkishness."        

Erdogan said that approaches such as, "this is an imposition of the EU" (regarding the amendment) are not good. He said that the amendment to Article 301 was brought to the agenda upon a serious demand from within the country, the official Anatolian Agency reported.  

The European Union has been calling on Turkey to amend Article 301, which has been the basis for charges against Turkish writers and journalists such as Hrant Dink, Elif Safak, and Orhan Pamuk. That provision makes denigrating Turkish identity or insulting the country’s institutions a crime punishable by up to three years in prison.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told Anatolian Agency reporters on Wednesday the complete annulment of the Article 301 was not on the agenda of the Turkish government. Babacan also told reporters that officials in a related parliamentary committee, as well as the parliament, would give a final shape to the article.

Under the proposed amendment, denigrating the Turkish identity is replaced with denigrating the "Turkish nation" in an effort to eliminate the elusive definition of Turkish identity. It also replaces the word "Republic," with the "Republic of Turkish State," in a similar context.

But the ruling AKP seems to be split over the plans to mandate the president on filing a lawsuit under the article to the president. Some officials, including the speaker of parliament and the justice minister, say the mandate should be given to justice ministry, not to the president.

Erdogan insisted the reason for giving the mandate to the president is that he is "politically independent."

 

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