ISTANBUL (Huriyet)—The infamous Article 301 will disrupt any sort of settlement between the Turkish state and the family of murdered journalist Hrant Dink, according to his brother, Khosrov Dink.
Article 301, which took effect on June of 2005, is a controversial article of the Turkish Penal Code which makes it illegal to insult Turkey, the Turkish ethnicity, or any Turkish governmental institution.
The proposal comes after Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed regret over the defense that the Turkish state used at the European Court of Human Rights in which it drew parallels between Dink’s perspectives and Neo-Nazism.
Davutoglu said the defense could not be withdrawn but added that the state could settle with the victim’s family. “The statements of the foreign minister are important,” said Hosrof Dink.
However, he also said that there could be no deal with the state as long as Article 301 continues to exist, adding that the article’s abolishment was a “struggle of honor” since his brother was condemned because of it.
“Hrant wanted to go to the European court to show the injustice of the sentence he received and to explain that he was not an ‘enemy of Turkey. It was the last thing he did before he was murdered.”
Khosrov Dink said that as long as Article 301 could be used to sentence people, it would be as though his brother is still lying on the sidewalk that he was shot on.
After Hrant Dink was murdered by an ultranationalist in January 2007; his body lay on the sidewalk of a busy Istanbul street in what became a famous image.
The journalist’s brother recalled Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s comment that the state had its share of neglect in the assassination, saying, “We expect the president to mobilize the State Control Board [DDK] which operates under him.”
Davutoglu spoke on the matter in Kahramanmaras on Wednesday, saying: “I feel regret for sending a defense to the European Court regarding the freedom of expression.A defense like this could not have come to mind. As an intellectual and a minister, I could not come to terms with this.”
The minister claimed he was against the state confronting citizens in the matter of freedom of speech at the European court and that he has ordered his civil servants to not present such cases for his approval.