Turkey: Criminal law silences discussion

This is a guest post by Felix Colchester

The Turkish government’s much anticipated “Kurdish Initiative” was discussed in parliament on 10 November, with many political parties eager to have their say on how best to solve the long-standing “Kurdish problem”. Speculation is rife as to the details of the initiative; thought to be amongst its key policies are the decentralisation of power away from Ankara, a more inclusive definition of citizenship, and the use of dialogue to pacify and eventually integrate militant groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) back into the political process. Why, then, if the “Kurdish Initiative” seems to favour mediation over military campaigns and dialogue over coercion, does it remain almost impossible for the Turkish media to discuss the initiative?