Turkish president signs free speech law reform

Turkish President Abdullah Gul signed into law late on Wednesday a long-sought revision of a law criticised by the European Union for limiting free speech in Turkey, a candidate for EU membership.

Turkish president signs free speech law reform
The reform to article 301 of the penal code was published in the Official Gazette and took effect on Thursday. The reform was approved in parliament last month amid fierce criticism from the nationalist opposition.

The reform makes it a crime to insult the Turkish nation, rather than Turkishness, and the justice minister's permission will be required to open a case. The maximum sentence is cut to two years from three.

The EU has said easing restrictions on free speech is a test of Turkey's commitment to political reform as Ankara looks to advance slow-moving membership talks which began in 2005.

Last Mod: 08 Mayıs 2008, 12:45
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