DEVLET BAHCELI: MHP NOT INTERESTED IN ANY PROPOSAL ON ARTICLE 301

Today's Zaman, Turkey
Jan 9 2008

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has refused to support a
government attempt to amend controversial Article 301 of the Turkish
Penal Code (TCK), which the government says restricts freedom of
expression.

MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli said, "It should be noted that the MHP
strongly opposes any amendments to Article 301 of the TCK; it will
not be interested in any proposal on this matter." The MHP leader
further stressed that the party is determined to fight against those
uneasy with the article's current content.

The MHP leader began his speech, addressing his group in Parliament,
by condemning the recent bombing in Diyarbakýr and then said, "For us,
seeking an amendment of this article means rewarding the circles that
seek an opportunity to defame Turkey's honorable history, denigrate the
Turkish nation and insult the national and spiritual values of Turkey."

Asserting that the administration had facilitated the job of the
separatists for the sake of membership in the EU, the MHP leader
underlined that leniency in Article 301 would lead to insults of
Turkishness and national symbols such as the flag.

Bahceli further said, "The similarity between those who seek to accuse
Turkish nationalists and the circles who work hard for the recognition
of the so-called Armenian genocide should be carefully considered."

He also asserted that the MHP had forced the government to launch
cross-border operations. Claiming that the MHP's determination and
attempts encouraged the administration to take action against the PKK,
Bahceli said: "You should recall that the current administration has
held power for the last five years. The main opposition has been
all the same in this period. Terror has been escalated by certain
circles. ... The actors in the past were all the same. What changed is
that the MHP has won 70 seats in Parliament. This change has pushed
Turkey and global actors into dealing with the Kurdistan Workers'
Party [PKK]."

--Boundary_(ID_x0VbHOBX8dtee/trQ0MLW w)--