[JURIST] New Turkish President Abdullah Gul [BBC profile] Wednesday proposed [speech text] amending a law that makes it a crime to insult Turkish national identity. Gul said at a Council of Europe [official website] meeting in Strasbourg that the law had hindered Turkey's attempts to join the EU, and that he expects the ruling AK Party [party website] will soon consider changing it. This may represent a change from the previous policy espoused by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan [official profile],
Many prominent Turkish journalists, authors, and academics have been investigated and tried for insulting "Turkishness" [JURIST report] under Article 301 [Amnesty backgrounder; JURIST news archive] of Turkey's penal code [text, in Turkish]. In 2006, Armenian journalist Hrant Dink [BBC profile] was tried [JURIST report] for allegedly violating Article 301 by writing about the killings of an estimated million Ottoman Armenians [ANI backgrounder] in the early 20th century. Turkish novelists Elif Shafak [Armeniapedia profile] and Orhan Pamuk [JURIST news archive] have also been charged under the article for discussing the alleged Armenian genocide.