A revamped penal code aimed at advancing Turkey’s bid to join the European Union went into effect Wednesday, despite criticism by journalists that the legislation could restrict media freedom.
The legislation was passed last year as part of the mainly Muslim country’s efforts to start membership talks with the EU. Media groups, however, said the new laws could lead to a crackdown on journalists.
The code originally was scheduled to go into effect in April, but Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government delayed its implementation until June and last week pushed revisions through parliament.
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has not said if he will approve the changes and the much-criticized, original legislation went into effect Wednesday.
“Now you’re less free,” headlined the daily Radikal. “The New Turkish Penal Code that was delayed two months because of criticism it hindered press freedom went into effect.” “A sour start to a new era,” Milliyet said in a headline.
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