Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ankara feels the pressure and gets provocative....

Turkey anxiously awaits the release of the EU Commission’s critical progress report due November 8. Semi-placatory moves are afoot designed to appease the European Commission. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has signaled that Turkey may amend article 301, which has been used to prosecute intellectuals and journalists for “insulting Turkishness.” He said so while attending the EU troika meeting in Luxembourg yesterday, but made no mention of a specific time frame to do so!
The Turkish Parliament Justice Sub-committee also decided yesterday that the Turkish History Society and the Foreign Ministry should conduct a detailed study on the Armenian genocide allegations. The study will explain the circumstances under which Turkey decided to deport Armenians in 1915. Countries that officially recognize an Armenian genocide will also be examined in this context to see whether cases of genocide have occurred in their own pasts.
EU leaders will outline decisions about Turkey on December 14-15 according to the upcoming progress report.

4 comments:

Colin said...

I find it rather strange that Turkey's EU membership should depend on the issue whether their politicians accept the fact that their ancestors killed Armenians. First of all, today's Turks did not kill them, in other words they did not do anything wrong so why should they feel guilty. Secondly, where to draw the line for feeling guilty? Should the Swedes feel guilty because of the Vikings, the Germans because of their ancestors conquering Rome, the Britons because of the opium war in China?

It seems to me that the issue of the Armenian genocide is a smoke-screen for avoiding to discuss the real issues of Turkey's EU membership such as the enormeous cultural, ethnic and economic impact on the citizens of the EU.

Praguetory said...

How do you think that the law change will affect you, if at all?

istanbultory said...

The problem with Article 301 of the Turkish Penal code (TCK)-which sets out penalties for insulting the Turkish Republic, its officials or the very concept of “Turkishness” - is that it seals off a whole range of taboo subjects from free discussion. Currently, self-censorship affects us all. My good self included.

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