ANSAmed: ANKARA, MAY 26 – A Turkish citizen who, while being in a bus, complained to his fellow passenger about the poverty in which many of his fellow countrymen live and about the consequent fast growth of crime, was charged by a policeman for having “insulted the Turkish state“. The man, if found guilty, risks up to two years of imprisonment.
The story was reported today by left daily Radikal which writes on front page Silence Passenger, Yet in Buss Risks Charges Under 301, the controversial article of the Penal Code referring to the freedom of expression. Under the article, amended last May 8, a crime is offending the Turkish state and the state bodies, and not as previously offending Turkishness.
The newspaper says that the passenger, a philosophy teacher, was commenting with the person sitting next to him a shantytown which has recently appeared near the city of Izmir that was held responsible for the creation of widespread growth of poverty in the country. A poverty which in turn increased the number of criminals against whom the police can do nothing, as its hands are bound by the new regulation approved in order to conform Turkey to the EU legislation.
The words of the teacher however did not please the police agent who was sitting just in front of him and who after having reproached the man asked him the identity card and charged him. The first hearing of trial was fixed on July 7 in Istanbul.”
H/T Baron Bodissey