80 writers and journalists have defamation cases pending against them in Turkey, notwithstanding that the Turkish government had changed on April 30 the infamous art 103 about insulting the state. It was a beginning that sadly didn’t change anything. The publisher Ragip Zarakolu has on June 17 been sentenced to 5 months in prison, which could be commuted into a fine. Zarakolu has been at the forefront in the struggle for freedom of expression. The court hearings he fell victim to have been time consuming and expensive, harassing him for publishing the works he did about the Armenian question, Kurdish and minority rights.
Art 301 must be repealed or amended thoroughly to meet the norms of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Americans should be aware of these facts when advocating for the admission of Turkey. Internatonal PEN and WIPC Flanders work for this to happen.
Clowns from Amsterdam
7 years ago