Thursday, March 03, 2005

Freedom of expression is not a luxury

"It's no secret that like most of the previous chief executives of this country, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan does not particularly like criticism. Tales abound as to how his press staff at the Prime Ministry has avoided presenting 'hazardous' critical material to the eyes of the premier."

"'People who are in the public light are forced to endure criticism in the same way they endure applause," judge Mithat Ali Kabaali said in his ruling. "A prime minister who was forced to serve a long jail term for reciting a poem should show more tolerance to these kinds of criticisms."

What more can one say than this, other than reminding the prime minister that freedom of expression is not just a luxury meant to be enjoyed only by the team in power in a country. Many people in Turkey are very much aware of the 'symbol' attached to the headscarf and the meaning of the shape of beards and such. Still, in addition to the Islamists, many secularists are very much against the headscarf ban, not because they want to have scarves on their heads but because they consider such restrictions to be a violation of freedom of belief and freedom of expression."
Turkish Daily News - Freedom of expression is not a luxury

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