Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not caved in to the European Union’s pressure to cancel article 301 of the penal code, Reuters reports.
Article 301 makes it a crime to insult Turkishness. This article was used against scholars, journalists and writers, including Nobel literature prize winner Orhan Pamuk. Pamuk opposed the Turkish official line that no preplanned massacre of Armenians took place in 1915.
Erdogan said his government had no plans to change the law. Nevertheless, Erdogan encouraged the EU to come up with suggestions for amending article 301, and said Turkey "will consider" them.
A poll conducted at the end of September revealed a massive decline in the Turkish people’s wish to join the EU. The survey, published by the Turkish daily Milliyet, showed that only 32.2 percent thought Turkey "must certainly enter the EU." In 2004 the figure stood at 67.5% and last year it declined to 57.4%.
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