All the omens point to an eventual accession of Turkey to the European Union. When that happens, “harmonization” will occur, and the laws of Turkey will be adjusted to fit EU standards. But, like other member countries, Turkey will claim certain opt-outs, and those laws and regulations will be exceptions.
Also like the rest of the EU, Turkey will be entitled to issue a warrant for the arrest of anyone who breaks any of its laws, even those that are not in agreement with EU standards. In addition, under the provisions of the European Arrest Warrant, Turkey can expect that anyone so accused will be delivered from anywhere in the EU, without the necessity of any judicial action on the part of the country where the alleged malefactor is detained.
The following news articles will serve as a reminder of the sorts of things that are against the law in Turkey. First case in point: the crime of insulting Kemal Ataturk:
Turkey: German Academic Faces Probe for Insulting Ataturk
ANKARA, DECEMBER 2 — Ankara’s public prosecutor initiated an investigation yesterday into derogatory remarks purportedly made about the founder of modern Turkey by an academic from a German university. Ronald Munch, from the University of Bremen, has been accused of insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as daily Hurriyet reports today.
In a speech at the European Parliament in Brussels on November 13, Munch said if Ataturk were alive today, he would have to stand trial for war crimes. The text of Munch’s speech will be requested from Belgium. After the text is analyzed and if the prosecutor finds the case to be within its mandate it can seek a one to three year prison term for Munch. Alternatively, the prosecutor can conclude there is a lack of grounds for legal action.
Law Number 5816 of the Turkish Criminal Code, or TCK, deals with crimes against Ataturk. According to Article 1 of this law, “Those who publicly insult or swear at the memory of Ataturk can be sentenced to a prison term of between one to three years.” Article 2 of the law states a conviction can be doubled if the crime is committed collectively or through the media. Article 12 of the TCK states if a foreigner commits a crime against Turkey that person will be tried upon entering Turkey. (ANSAmed)
Notice that the perpetrator of the alleged crime is neither a resident nor a citizen of Turkey. Yet the Turkish court claims jurisdiction over him, and will arrest him if he enters Turkey. Once Turkey is in the EU, under the European Arrest Warrant Prof. Munch could be extradited to Turkey from Germany without the necessity of any legal procedure within Germany.
Next example: anyone who refers to the unpleasant events in Anatolia during 1915 and 1916 as a “genocide” is subject to prosecution in Turkey. Once again, it was a German — a citizen of the EU — who uttered the forbidden words, so the European Arrest Warrant would apply if Turkey were in the EU.
Turkey: Press, Kasper’s Words on Armenia Disrupt Relations
ANKARA, NOVEMBER 25 — Statements made on Sunday by Cardinal Walter Kasper to Radio Vaticana about the recognition by the Holy See of the Armenian genocide have “thrown a shadow on the process of normalisation underway between Turkey and Armenia”.
This is how the nationalist and Islamic line Turkish newspaper “Turkiye”, commented the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, who had stated that the genocide “is a fact”, as Pope Wojtyla did in his pastoral visit to Armenia during which he also visited the memorial for the victims of the genocide. The newspaper commented, furthermore, with a not so subtle sarcasm, the fact which the words of the high prelate came in an “interesting moment”, meaning in a moment in which in the difficult relations between Turkey and Armenia, one can just make out a glimpse of dialogue.
Just yesterday, in Istanbul, the Armenian Foreign Minister, Eduard Nalbandian met his Turkish counterpart, Ali Babacan, who according to reliable sources in the local media, mentioned the idea of a possible resuming of “de facto” diplomatic relations between the two counties if Yerevan were to accept the start of an historic investigation on the massacres of Armenians at the time of the Ottoman Empire.
Ankara has refused up until now to establish diplomatic relations with Armenia, ex Soviet republic, independent since 1991, due to the efforts made by Yerevan for the recognition of the massacre of 1.5 million Armenian carried out between 1915 and 1916 as genocide. Ankara rejects the genocide definition and sustains that there were about 300,000 Armenian killed, all victims of a bloody civil war at the time. (ANSAmed)
One can understand that there might be legitimate debate among historians as to whether Ottoman actions against the Armenians in 1915 should be classified as genocide. But in Turkey, the debate is closed, and referring to the events as “genocide” is against the law.
How far is the European Union willing to go when it accepts Turkey as a member? How many new classes of criminality will “harmony” require?
Hat tip: Insubria.