Newsflash! Governing party AKP is about to change the infamous penal code article 301! Many papers put it on the front page and the press outside Turkey also picked up the story. I recall how last December the same news was spread around. I rushed to write an article on how different human rights activists claimed changing 301 would not really help the freedom of expression. I sent it to the newspaper I regularly work for, and told them they could publish the story as soon as the law had actually been changed. ‘Probably next week’, I added. It didn’t happen the next week, so the story was shelved. In the first week of January, I mailed the newspaper again: the government is announcing it will deal with 301 next week! And again halfway through February: Prime Minister Erdogan says 301 will be discussed in parliament next week, so maybe that’s a good time to publish the story! But, of course, once again nothing happened in parliament. Now a minister has announced the same news: soon we will amend 301! I didn’t mail the newspaper this time, although I’m keen on getting the article published. I’m not stupid. When I notify them again about news that’s never actually going to happen, it may seem as if I don’t know what I’m talking about. But actually, I do. Article 301 will be changed. Probably next week.
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Podiumbouwer Maaike van Kempen made this website.