Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code :-
The article currently reads as follows:
- A person who publicly denigrates the Turkish Nation, the State of the Turkish Republic or the Grand Assembly of Turkey and the judicial institutions of the State shall be punishable by imprisonment from 6 months to 2 years.
- A person who publicly denigrates the military and police organizations of the State will too receive the same punishment.
- Expressions of thought intended to criticize shall not constitute a crime.
- The prosecution under this article will require the approval of the Minister of Justice.
( And all that’s even before they get round to arresting and prosecuting editors and journalists .)
Does any of it matter ,does it really ,really matter ? Perhaps ,maybe in some ethereal hyper-philosophical sense. For example, the origins of the modern day state of Turkey and all its myriad complexities ,structural injustices and contradictions has come about ,ultimately as a result of the fallout of The Great War 1914 -18. As indeed has the hybrid phenomenon ISIL/ISIS/Daesh ; ; is it a state ? is it a guerrilla insurgency ? is it a terrorist organisation ? And does it matter ? Either way the last significant sea- change in the fate and destinies of peoples and nations ,of Human society in general occurred 1914 -18 with the advent of the Great War. Maps got redrawn ,armed conflicts ensued and once reasonably content minorities co -existing in other legal / geopolitical jurisdictions ended up being forced out to states they had historically never been domiciled in,such as in the calamity of 1922 where Turkey and Greece ” swapped ” each others linguistic ethnic minorities. When Empires ( in whatever Historic epoch ) come crashing down and land masses are engulfed by chaos ,the debris of the old Imperialist orders,continues to rain down on all and sundry many ,many decades after the pivotal events have long since been consigned to the realms of academic study and popular schoolbook histories. No-one actually learns from History ,at least not to any significant extent.The same old mistakes are repeated ad infinitum as well as ad nauseam. Venal ,posturing authoritarian leaders and wannabe populist democratic demagogues contend for supremacy in the very quagmire they and their predecessors among the Political Class and Ruling Elites have so assiduously contrived to create ,maintain and enlarge. No , there are none righteous ,no not one.