Last Modified 13-09-2008 16.39

Writer And Journalist Ahmet Altan Charged With Insulting Turkish Nation

Although the Ministry of Justice stops some of the article 301 cases, it still gives many permissions for trial under this article. Writer and journalist Ahmet Altan may become the next victim for insulting the Turkish nation.

Bia news center - Istanbul-ankara

12-09-2008

Article 301 continues to create victims, although some do escape prosecution “thanks to” the decision of no permission to some trials under article 301 by the Ministry of Justice. 

The right to give permission to be prosecuted under article 301 was given to the Ministry of Justice with the revision in article 301 on May 8.

In its present form the revised 301 forbids “denigrating Turkishness, the Republic, the institutions and organs of the State.”

The latest victims of article 301 are Ahmet Altan for his article “Ah Ahparik” ('Oh brother' in Armenian) and director and authorized representative of the newspaper Taraf Adnan Demir. The complaint was filed by the Ankara branch of the Great Union Party (BBP).

The BBP representatives claim that the writer who wrote “the Unionists [of the Ottoman era] conducted a cruel genocide”  shows the Turkish nation as genocide-seekers, barbaric and immoral.

The ministry did not give permission to Boğatekin’s prosecution

On the other hand, the Ministry of Justice did not give permission for the prosecution of owner of the newspaper ‘Gerger Fırat’ Hacı Boğatekin, who had criticized Turkey’s past social policies with his article titled “Turkey made a mistake.”

The Ministry’s reasoning was that the said article was simply a reflection of the writer’s opinions and thoughts.

After the revision of article 301, 249 files have been sent to the Ministry of Justice for permission. The most recent permission given was the one for Temel Demirer’s case; his case was deemed prosecutable under 301. Mehmet Ali Şahin, Minister of Justice,  have denied permission for 115 case, but did the exact opposite for 36 cases. 98 files are still under inspection.

Pamak and Tanrıverdi are waiting for the decision of the ministry

President of the Scientific and Cultural Researches Foundation (İLKAV) Mehmet Pamak and President of the Teachers Union Yusuf Tanrıverdi are waiting for a similar permission decision to be (or not) prosecuted under article 301 from the Ministry of Justice for their alleged denigration of the Republic and the armed forces. Since the ministry’s reply is not back yet, their hearing is delayed to November 17. (EÖ/EÜ/TB)

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