|Suppressing Academic Debate: The Turkish Penal Code|
Days after Turkish prosecutors filed an indictment against the publisher of a book by Noam Chomsky, a new report highlights further restrictions on the freedom of academic debate within Turkey .
Articles 301 and 216 of the new Turkish Penal Code curtail academic freedom by criminalising those who “insult” or “denigrate Turkishness, the republic and Parliament.” The report Suppressing Academic Debate – The Turkish Penal Code gives the findings of a joint Kurdish Human Rights Project and Bar Human Rights Committee mission which observed the trials of Professors Baskin Oran and Ibrahim Özden Kabogluare, former members of the Human Rights Advisory Council (IHDK) to the Prime Minister's Office in Turkey . In 2005 the men wrote a report concerning the situation of minority rights in Turkey . In response, during November 2005, the Ankara Prosecutor's Office charged the men under Articles 301 and 216 respectively.
The court ruled later that the professors were not guilty of “inciting hatred and enmity” when they said Turkey should grant more rights to Kurds and other minorities. This report examines Turkey 's record of protecting the right to a fair trial in this case; together with the censorship of non-violence opinions also experienced by dozens of others journalists, publishers, writers and artists. The report concludes that Turkey is in breach of several international human rights obligations.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Kerim Yildiz, Executive Director at +44 (0) 207 4053835
Kurdish Human Rights Project, 11 Guilford Street , London , WC1N 1DH