The European Union has been calling on Turkey to amend Article 301, which has been the basis for charges against Turkish writers and journalists such as Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk, and Elif Safak, though most cases have eventually been dismissed.
“If you force the limits of our society’s values and public opinion you destabilize certain social balances”
The proposal, which could be voted on as early as April 15, calls for the president’s approval before prosecutors can launch cases, a move that would make trials under the article more difficult.
It also replaces the term “Turkishness” (which critics say is too broad and vague) with the “Turkish nation” and decreases the maximum jail term to two years, which would allow the sentence to be suspended or converted to a fine.
It also removes a provision that calls for an increased sanction if the crime is committed abroad.
The AKP is expected to have no difficulty in passing the amendment as it dominates the 550-seat parliament with 340 MPs.
“If you force the limits of our society’s values and public opinion you destabilise certain social balances and people will take the law into their own hands. Hrant Dink’s murder is a best example of this,” he said.