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To the government of Turkey:

· investigate all “actor unknown murders” including those of journalists listed in this report;

· establish a commission consisting of the undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice, the state minister responsible for human rights, the head of the Press Council of Turkey, and a representative from the human rights community of Turkey to review sentences imposed under Articles 168 and 169 of the penal code (membership in an armed group and aiding an armed group) to those working at newspapers and other publications in order to determine whether their convictions were based on concrete evidence, and not on the mere fact of working at such a publication or the exercise of other internationally protected rights;

· repeal or amend all laws and decrees that violate international standards, including but not limited to the following:


· repeal paragraph 5 of the preamble of the constitution, which states that,

No protection shall be given to thoughts or opinions that run counter to Turkish national interests, the fundamental principle of the existence of the indivisibility of the Turkish state and territory, the historical and moral values of Turkishness, or the nationalism, principles, reforms, and modernism of Atatürk, and that as required by the principle of secularism there shall be absolutely no interference of sacred religious feeling in the affairs of state and politics.

· repeal Article 26.2 and Article 26.3 of the constitution, which place severe restrictions on Article 26.1, “Freedom of Expression and the Dissemination of Thought;”

· amend Articles 28.5 and 28.7 of the constitution and additional Article 1 of the Press Law to remove from prosecutors and others the right to confiscate publications without first obtaining a court order;

· repeal Article 28.10 of the constitution and additional Article 2 of the Press Law that allow courts to close publications;

· repeal Article 28.2 of the constitution, that prohibits publication in languages “prohibited by law;”

· repeal Article 42.9 of the constitution and Article 2 of the Foreign Language and Teaching Law, both of which state that, “The mother tongue of Turkish Citizens cannot be taught in any language other than Turkish;”

The Penal Code

· repeal Article 155 of the penal code, which penalizes publishing articles that “make people unwilling to serve in the military;”

· repeal Article 158 of the penal code, which prohibits “insult[ing] the President of the Republic;”

· repeal Article 159 of the penal code, which criminalizes “insulting the moral personality of Turkishness, the Republic, the Parliament, the Government, State Ministers, the military or security forces, or the Judiciary;”

· amend Articles 311 and 312.2 of the penal code, “publicly inciting a crime” and “inciting people to enmity and hatred by pointing to class, racial, religious, confessional, or religious difference” to prevent the punishment of thought;

· repeal Article 312.1 of the penal code, which prohibits “praising an action considered criminal;”

Other laws

· strip military courts of the right to try civilians for violations of the military penal code;

· repeal Article 8 of the Anti-Terror Law, which prohibits so-called “separatist propaganda;”

· repeal Article 4 of the Law Concerning the Founding and Broadcasts of Television and Radio (RTÜK) to allow broadcasting in any and all languages, and to remove vague and general broadcasting prohibitions that contradict international standards;

· amend The Law Concerning Crimes Committed Against Atatürk to limit criminal activity solely to acts contained in Article 2 of the law, which penalizes destroying, defacing, breaking, or ruining a statue, bust, or monument representing Atatürk or the grave of Atatürk. Such activities would be considered destruction of public property, punishable under international law;

· repeal Article 16 of the Press Law, which assigns a “responsible editor” to publications and articles in order to broaden criminal liability;

· repeal Article 58 of the Law Concerning Fundamental Provisions on Elections and Voter Registries to allow the use of any and all languages during political campaigns;

· repeal Article 81 of the Political Parties Law, “Preventing the Creation of Minorities;”

· repeal Article 8 of the Police Duty and Responsibility Law, which gives police the administrative right to close down plays, films, or lectures; and

· repeal Article 15 of the State Civil Servants Law, which prohibits civil servants from speaking to the press.

To the U.S. government:

· use its special relationship with the government of Turkey to encourage Turkey to adopt policies with respect to freedom of expression that comport with international standards;

· work with the Turkish government and military to live up to their commitments to improve human rights practices, including through the decriminalization of freedom of expression, a condition set by the United States State Department for the potential sale of U.S.-manufactured military helicopters to Turkey; and

· continue to promote civil society and freedom of expression in Turkey through assistance to independent Turkish non-governmental organizations.

To the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

· identify improvements in freedom of expression as an important goal to be met in advance of Turkey's hosting of the 1999 OSCE summit;

· work through the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media to address the legal and structural obstacles to freedom of expression in Turkey; and

· work through the OSCE High Commissioner on National Minorities to address restrictions on freedom of expression, in particular language and education rights, that relate to ethnic minorities in Turkey.

To the European Union:

· raise concerns relating to restrictions on freedom of expression with Turkish government counterparts; and

· continue to promote civil society and freedom of expression in Turkey through assistance to independent, nongovernmental organizations in Turkey.

To the Council of Europe:

· address Turkey's record on freedom of expression using the monitoring procedures of the Committee of Ministers and the ParliamentaryAssembly, calling for the legal reforms identified as necessary in this report; and

· through the Council's program of intergovernmental cooperation and assistance, provide Turkey with expert advice regarding needed reform of its laws on freedom of expression.

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