Turkish Deputy PM announces new legislation for jailed journalists

Turkish Deputy PM announces new legislation for jailed journalists

BERLIN – Anatolia News Agency
Turkish Deputy PM announces new legislation for jailed journalists

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç. AA photo

A new law that will decriminalize the creation and publication of propaganda that does not encourage violence will be discussed soon and journalists imprisoned on these charges may be released in line with the new law, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said today in the German capital of Berlin.

“A draft legislation is about to be brought to Parliament [in the next few] days. We are hoping to announce at the Council of Ministers meeting on March 11 that even if a person makes propaganda, as long as it doesn’t steer the masses toward weapons and violence, it will no longer be considered a crime. I believe journalists who are in prison for violating this article of the law will benefit from this amendment,” Arınç said at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Berlin.

Arınç said the issue would come to the table at the March 11 meeting and the government would announce the law.

“Our concern is over journalists who, in the scope of the Anti-Terror Law, are on trial or in prison. There are many illegal organizations in Turkey. There are bombings and protests against women, children and soldiers every day. Turkey has to implement this law as a state that has suffered deeply from terrorism. If you are favoring the idea that there should be no Anti-Terror Law or these protests shouldn’t be considered a crime, I’m afraid we don’t share the same opinion. If Turkey is a country suffering from terrorism and many are losing their lives due to terrorism, we have to implement the Anti-Terror Law,” Arınç added.

He also touched on the ongoing peace talks, saying people should always be allowed to talk about their ethnicity and live their cultural identity, emphasizing that they established Kurdish and Arabic channels on national television and broadcast in 29 languages on the radio.