European Union Enlargement Commissioner welcomes possible amendments to Art. 301
(zaman) - European Union (EU) Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said that he welcomed a statement by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan signaling possible changes to the controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).
Rehn stated that efforts to change Article 301 showed that the Turkish premier supports the EU and freedom of speech. He also noted that he was expecting concrete steps on the issue, reports Trend.
In a weekend meeting with representatives of Turkish NGOs, PM Erdogan said that Article 301 did not contradict EU legislation, "despite some problems experienced in its implementation. Erdogan remarked that they were ready to consider any proposals to make Article 301 more concrete if the article was deemed too vague.
Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) which specifies penalties for insulting the Turkish state, its officials or 'Turkishness,' has been used to bring charges against many well-known journalists, publishers and scholars.
High-ranking EU officials have advised the Turkish government that Article 301 could have negative effects on Turkey's EU bid unless it is amended or abolished. Article 301 will most likely be a key point in the upcoming EU progress report on Turkey, which is set to be revealed on Wednesday.