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On the air of Turkey’s state-run TRT television, the justice minister Sadullah Ergin also reflected on the Turkish Penal Code’s notorious Article 301, which makes it illegal to insult Turkey, the Turkish ethnicity, or Turkish government institutions.  

The Turkish minister noted that discussions are underway toward making changes in the Article. “Although it is the justice minister who is empowered to launch a criminal case under this article, ECHR (European Court of Human Rights) has objections in this regard, noting that the minister’s view is subjective. We plan to make improvements in this article,” Sadullah Ergin said, Posta daily of Turkey informs.      

To note, Hrant Dink—founder and former chief editor of Istanbul’s Agos Armenian weekly, and who was murdered in 2007—and Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk were also prosecuted under Article 301. In 2005, the prosecutors were given the empowerment to launch criminal cases under this article, but afterwards this power was returned to the country’s justice ministry.

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