Draft adding hate crimes to Turkish criminal code completed
ANKARA – Hürriyet
The government has completed a draft on hate crimes which is set to be sent to Parliament in the upcoming days. AA photoThe government has taken another step toward realizing its promises in the “democracy package” by completing a draft on hate crimes.
The draft, which is set to be sent to Parliament in the upcoming days, will designate hate and prejudice as an aggravation cause for crimes regulated in eight articles of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK).
The prison sentences for hate or prejudice-driven crimes will be multiplied and “intervention into lifestyles” enters into law as a crime for the first time, according to the draft.
Hate and prejudice crimes are defined as “crimes committed based on someone’s or some group’s language, ethnicity, nationality, skin color, gender, disability condition, political views, philosophical beliefs, religion or sect.”
If one commits a crime such as intentional murder, wounding, torture or threat based one of the above-written characteristics of the victim, the penalty to be imposed on the offender will be made considerably harsher.
Intentional homicide, for instance, will be sentenced to life imprisonment if it was driven by hate or prejudice.
The only exception to penalty increases will be in insult crimes, which will no longer be punished with a jail sentence if the draft passes into law.
The tightening of hate crime penalties was announced by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as part of the “democracy package,” which was presented as an initiative to extend rights given to Turkey’s disadvantaged minorities. Although most of the unveiled reforms have been hailed, some find the promises insufficient and accuse the government of lacking willingness to target the real issues facing Turkey.