Not something to be proud of...
In response to a parliamentary query made yesterday by Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Aydın deputy Recep Taner, Şahin said: “In the first three months of 2008 there were 103 court cases regarding 301. Thirty-two individuals were convicted, and the court ruled for the acquittal of 74 people. Eight of the 32 convicted were sentenced to jail terms, 11 were given fines. Four received both jail sentences and fines. Among the eight given jail sentences, the sentences of five were commuted to fines and the sentences of the other three were suspended.”
A recent amendment to the infamous article has improved matters. One of the changes to Article 301, which previously criminalized “insulting Turkishness” and has long been seen as an obstacle to freedom of speech in Turkey, made it obligatory for prosecutors to secure approval from the Justice Ministry before launching cases on 301-related charges. The amendment was adopted in May of this year. In the past, the article in question had been repeatedly challenged, particularly with respect to the charges filed against Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk and Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was assassinated after he was brought before the court.