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Turkey: Human Rights

Volume 690: debated on Wednesday 21 March 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether Article 301 of Turkey's penal code, which makes it a criminal offence to insult the Turkish identity and prevents free discussion of the circumstances in which Armenians lost their lives in 1915–16, is compatible with membership of the European Union. [HL2784]

The European Commission has said that,

“if the Turkish Penal Code continues to be interpreted in a restrictive manner, then it may need to be amended in order to safeguard freedom of expression in Turkey”.

We endorse this view and continue to press the Turkish authorities to address the issue of Article 301, both in the context of Turkey's accession to the EU and for the benefit of Turkish society.