Turkey: Call for abolition of Article 301

PEN, Article 19 and IPA Issue Joint Statement Calling for 301 Repeal

Nine months after the 19 January murder of Armenian Turkish editor, Hrant Dink, writers, journalists and publishers continue to be tried under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, accused of insult to “Turkishness” and to Turkish institutions.

In a joint statement issued on 10 September 2007, International PEN, Article 19 and the International Publishers Association called for the abolition of Article 301, citing its adverse effect on the right to freedom of expression.

Hrant Dink’s Funeral

The joint statement refers to 18 trials against 24 writers and journalists under Article 301 current as of July. More cases have been brought for prosecution since, notably against author Perihan Magden and newspaper editor Hasan Çakalkurt.

Perihan Magden is a well known author and commentator, who was acquitted last year of charges of encouraging military objection for an article that protested the imprisonment of a conscientious objector. In August, charges were reportedly filed against her for an article published in Radikal that questioned the press embargo against reporting on the discovery of arms in a house in Istanbul.

Editor in chief of the same newspaper, Hasan Çakalkurt is also threatened with prosecution under Article 301 for a piece in his newspaper containing a translation of a book The Forgotten Holocaust by British journalist, Robert Fisk, published in August, on  the mass killings and deportations of Armenians in the early 20th century. Charges have also been filed against Cakalkurt for another article, this time with a translation from an article by American journalist Jeff Jacoby, also referring to the Armenian genocide, and published in August in the Boston Globe.

TURKEY: Monthly “301” Action – 19 September 2007

Please send appeals:

– Continuing the monthly action taking place on or around 19th of each month in memory of the murdered Armenian-Turkish Editor, Hrant Dink killed 19 January 2007

– Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the 26 Turkish writers and journalists presently on trial under Article 301.

– Calling for the abolition of Article 301, citing it’s adverse effect on the right to freedom of expression.

Government addresses:

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Office of the Prime Minister


06573 Ankara


Foreign Minister and State Minister for Human Rights

Mr Abdullah Gül

Office of the Prime Minister


06573 Ankara


Chargé d’Affaires Mr. Atilay Ersan

Turkish Embassy

43 Belgrave Square

London SW1X 8PA

Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/archivebulletins/turkeycallforabolitionofarticle301/

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