The Turkish parliament on Thursday approved changes to anti-terrorism laws in a bid to reduce the number of prosecutions for the non-violent expression of opinions, but critics say the revisions don’t go far enough.
Turkey has prosecuted hundreds of politicians, activists and journalists under its broadly worded anti-terrorism laws, some for simply expressing opinions or taking part in protests. The Paris-based Reporters Without Borders has described the country as the “world’s biggest prison for journalists.” Long pre-trial detention periods and the often slow pace of the proceedings have increased concerns about human rights in the country.
“This package does nothing to solve any of our problems,” opposition legislator Bulent Tezcan said. “We are faced with a government that treats anyone who wants to express an opinion as terrorists.”