CHP moves for freedom of expression law reforms

CHP moves for freedom of expression law reforms

At a time when pressures on rights and freedoms in Turkey have been in focus due to the Gezi Park unrest, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has initiated an attempt to abolish controversial legal provisions and expand freedom of expression.

A group of CHP deputies led by Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, who is also a deputy chair of the party, submitted a proposal to the Office of the Parliament Speaker yesterday for the scrapping of certain articles of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and the Anti-Terror Law (TMK).

The CHP asked for abolition of a provision of Article 6 of the TMK, which states: “People who propagate or publish declarations or statements of terror organizations which legitimize or praise or encourage resorting to acts of force, violence or threat will be penalized with imprisonment from one year up to three years.”

Several articles

Another article of the TCK that the CHP requested abolition of is Article 220/6, which states: “A person who commits a crime in the name of a terrorist organization, although not being a member of the organization, is also penalized for membership of the organization.”

The CHP proposal also includes the revocation of TCK articles concerning “Violation of secrecy,” “Attempt to influence a fair trial,” “Denigrating Turkishness, the Republic, the institutions and organs of the State,” and “Alienating people from military service.”

A reform bill dubbed the 'Fourth Judicial Package” was adopted by the government in April, but did not touch any of the above articles.