The situation of freedom of expression - Turkey and the European Union
Abstract: Abstract This study will shed light on the meaning of article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code and its inconformity with fundamental principles of the European Union and fundamental human rights. The trial of Nobel Prize winner, Mr Orhan Pamuk and the killing of Mr Hrant Dink in January 2007 have both put focus on the notorious article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. The purpose of the study is to answer the main question; In what way does article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code infringe the freedom of expression outlined in article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and what should the European Union do about it? The conclusion is that article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code infringes the right to freedom of expression stated in article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It does undermine the essence of the right by invoking a wide range of self-censorship, by its ambiguous language and by the way it is applied. The restrictions are interpreted broadly and leave nothing but an arbitrary article left to apply for the courts. The European Union holds the power to influence Turkey and can therefore enforce an abolition of article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. Time will tell if Turkey will fully safeguard freedom of expression as it is stated in article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights and in the praxis of the European Court of Human rights and the European Court of Justice.
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