Official Ready to Re-examine Law Shielding Turks’ Identity

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ISTANBUL, Jan. 24 — Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul called Wednesday for changes in a controversial law that penalizes insults against Turkish identity.

Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor who was assassinated last week, had been convicted under the law late last year. Many Turks say the conviction labeled Mr. Dink a traitor in the eyes of ultranationalist groups and made him a target.

“We see that in its present version, it causes some problems,” the foreign minister said of the law, adding that his government supported free speech as long as it did not incite violence.

Mr. Gul’s comments suggest that change is not far away; the government consulted civic organizations last year about revisions to the language of the law.

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