(www.cihannews.com) - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has opposed complete annulment of notorious Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code, which the EU is critical of Turkey for restricting freedom of expression, however, he signaled a possible amendment to the much-debated article.
"We aren't thinking of a complete annulment of Article 301", said Erdogan at a press briefing before his departure for Ethiopia to attend African Union Summit. He added that the government was open to any suggestions on amendments from NGOs or other related parties, reports Trend.
Recalling that he held talks with several NGOs for proposals to such changes, Erdogan remarked that those NGOs did not reach an agreement on a certain amendment.
"Any article of the constitution could be amended except for those first three ones", Justice Minister Cemil Cicek said on Sunday in his party's provincial meeting.
Several journalists and authors in Turkey including Nobel-winner Orhan Pamuk and slain Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink have been accused under this controversial article dealing with punishments for those who insult dignity of Turkey, its officials and institutions.
The European Union and many domestic and foreign NGOs believe that the article poses a threat to the fundamental right to freedom of expression.