Turkey Watch

Watching the Turkish nail being put into Europian coffin.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

EU Commission Urges Turkey to Rewrite Penal Code

From Zaman

The European Union Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said that he would urge Turkey to rewrite certain articles of its new Penal Code that restricts freedom of expression.

The latest EU urge came a day after the High Court of Appeals upheld the suspension of a verdict against ethnic Armenian editor Hrant Dink.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn claimed that the ruling in the case of Hrant Dink showed that Turkey's reformed penal code still restricted freedom of expression.

"I am disappointed by this judgment, which limits the exercise of freedom of expression in Turkey," Rehn said in a statement, warning that the ruling could be set as a binding precedent for other pending human rights cases.

Sisli Court had given Dink a 6-month suspended sentence on charges of insulting the Turkish identity.

In his column for the Turkish Armenian daily Agos dated February 13, 2004, Dink had likened Turkish nationalism to carcinogenic tumors and poisoned blood in its responsibility for the so-called Armenian genocide.

Today's Appeals Court statement said that there was no doubt that Dink's statement ridiculed and insulted the Turkish identity.

Ethnic Armenian Turkish national Dink writes for Agos daily which is mainly addressed to the Armenian community in Turkey.

Following strong EU pressure, a Turkish court had dropped a case against Orhan Pamuk earlier this year.

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