Taner Akçam sues to overturn law on 'Denigrating Turkishness'

Historians in the News

Taner Akçam, scholar at the University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies, has filed a case with the European Court of Human Rights that he says is the first attempt to overturn through that legal channel a controversial provision of Turkey’s penal code that criminalizes “denigrating Turkishness.”

He was charged under Article 301 of Turkey’s penal code, which has been used frequently against journalists, academics, and writers, and which Amnesty International says “poses a direct threat to the fundamental right to freedom of expression.”

Mr. Akçam was charged with Article 301 violations when he wrote an article in support of Mr. Dink, a friend, before his death, and he says that he has also received many death threats and has been subjected to online harassment, for example through false entries in his online Wikipedia biography.

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