An English-language Turkish news site is reporting that more than three dozen people have been charged with blasphemy in that country for posting allegedly offensive things about religion to a social media site that is popular with the Turkish people.
Prosecutors submitted an indictment to Anadolu 30th Peace Court, charging Sedat Kapanoğlu and 40 account holders with the “blasphemy on the religious values of a society fraction” due to their entries on Ekşisözlük, a popular social media website in Turkey. Site owner Kapanoğlu and other users are facing prison sentences from 6 up to 12 months.
“I don’t want to make an extensive comment on the prosecution as it has yet to begin,”Ekşisözlük lawyer Başak Purut told bianet…
“Turkish Penal Code Article 216/3 serves the judicial purpose of protecting the sentiments of those who believe in God, religion, prophets, holy writings and sects. Individuals may certainly express their opinions and criticize certain aspects. However, they must do this while not hurting other people’s religious sentiments. Therefore, nobody has the right to damage the respect of others towards their sacred concepts.”
That’s downright Orwellian language. You can express your views as long as they don’t bother anyone else.