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POLITICS > Turkey's deputy PM calls for freedom of thought

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Deputy PM Beşir Atalay says thoughts should not be restricted by any limit. AA photo

Deputy PM Beşir Atalay says thoughts should not be restricted by any limit. AA photo

Turkey must remove any limits to press freedom, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said July 24 in an event marking Journalism Day in Turkey. 

“Thoughts should not be restricted by any limit,” Atalay said July 24 at an event marking Journalism Day that was hosted by the Press Advertisement Association in Sultanahmet Square, adding that the government’s aim was to allow for complete freedom of thought.

Atalay also issued a call for the separation of “thoughts from violence” but did not elaborate. “In our current legislation, we still have some regulations keeping thoughts and violence together,” he said.
The deputy prime minister said a recently passed third judicial package would effect the cancelation of cases against members of the press who face under five years in prison on allegations related to the expression of their thoughts. 

Thousands of case files will be dismissed on the basis of this development, he said, adding that discussions on a fourth judicial package would begin in fall.

Stating that Turkey had been experiencing a difficult but great transformation, Atalay said a free atmosphere would be provided sooner or later thanks to a new charter.

Since censorship was abolished on July 24, 1908, considerable progress has been made in terms of press freedom in both Turkey and the world, Atalay said. 

Atalay also said that at the beginning of the current government’s era in power, the Communication Council assembled to change the press law dating back to 1950 to start expanding the scope of freedom.

July/26/2012

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