Council of Europe Secretary General Terry Davis reacts to changes in Turkish Criminal Code related to freedom of expression


Strasbourg, 02.05.2008 – “The recent amendments to Article 301 of the Turkish penal Code which criminalises insults to the Turkish nation testify to the readiness of the Turkish authorities to review their legislation against the background of their obligations as a member of the Council of Europe and a party to the European Convention on Human Rights. This is to be welcomed. However, although an analysis of the new wording indicates some progress in this respect, it does not alleviate all concerns about excessive restrictions of the freedom of expression, as guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The decisive test of compliance with Council of Europe standards will be the interpretation of the new Article 301 by the Turkish courts, and we will follow the situation very closely.”