Islamic Tolerance in modern, secular Turkey, the proof that Islam and democracy are fully compatible. Note that the law about “insulting Turkishness” was instituted in order to help Turkey get into the EU.
“Turkey: Converts Charged Under Speech Law,” from Compass Direct, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
October 31 (Compass Direct News) — A Turkish prosecutor slapped criminal charges against two converts to Christianity earlier this month, accusing them of “insulting Turkishness,” inciting hatred against Islam and secretly compiling data on private citizens for a local Bible correspondence course.
Hakan Tastan, 37, and Turan Topal, 46, joined the ranks of 97 other Turkish citizens hauled into court in the last 16 months over alleged violations of the country”s controversial Article 301 restricting freedom of speech.
Haydar Polat, attorney for the two Christians, said a state prosecutor in the Silivri Criminal Court filed a formal indictment against his clients on October 12. If convicted, the accused men could be sentenced from six months up to three years in prison….
Citing articles 301, 216 and 135 of the Turkish penal code, the indictment accused the defendants of approaching grade school children and high school students in Silivri and attempting to convert them to Christianity.
According to the written charges, the three plaintiffs, identified as 23-year-old Fatih Kose, 16-year-old Alper and Oguz, 17, claimed the two Christians had called Islam a “primitive and fabricated religion” and had described Turks as a “cursed people.”
They also accused the defendants of opposing the Turkish military, encouraging sexual misconduct and procuring funds from abroad to entice young people in Silivri to become Christians. Tastan and Topal deny all charges….
And on Article 301:
October 31 (Compass Direct News) — Last week the European Union (EU) reiterated its demands that Turkey either amend or scrap Article 301, which prohibits “insulting Turkishness.”
EU critics complain that the law fails to define “Turkishness,” allowing prosecutors to issue widely varying legal interpretations in a rash of cases against journalists, novelists, professors and other intellectuals. Turkey instituted Article 301 in June 2005 as part of the country”s package of reform laws to facilitate the overwhelmingly Muslim nation’s entry into the EU.