After reading my my post about Turkey the other night, our Flemish correspondent VH was prompted to send a follow-up report that ties Turkey’s new muscle in the Council of Europe to the implementation of the EU’s notorious Framework Decision, whose deadline is coming up in less than two weeks.
“Grand Turkey” and the Framework Decision
The “Grand Turkey” speech by Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year was a between-the-lines look at what the Turks are up to:
We have said that for small political interests such as parties, votes and elections one should not hinder the progress of this country. We said that the vision of Grand Turkey is above all the party politics. That is why we said Turkey should think big and aim high. Regardless of one’s political views, a big and powerful Turkey means a more spacious, livable and bigger Turkey for everyone. There is room for everyone in this Grand Turkey. Our people of Grand Turkey possess grand heart and vision. Grand Turkey is a source of stability and peace in its region. It is a country, which gives confidence rather than giving discomfort and it empathizes rather than imposing.
While all of this is going on, consider the following seemingly unrelated fact: on November 28 the door will close on the EU “Council Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA”, which in a very serious way will stifle free speech in the EU. It equates race with religion, and extends the jurisdiction of a member state on this matter across the borders of a member state: a citizen of member state A is punishable in member state A and/or B for “offenses” committed in member state B, including activities on the internet (see Article 9.1b and 9.2b). This may occur even when nobody files a complaint (see Article 8).
As you will see, this is an obvious stratagem to criminalize criticism of Islam, in line with the OIC’s oft-proposed resolution against “defamation of religions” at the UN.
From the legislative summary of the Framework Decision (emphasis added):
“Racist and xenophobic behaviour must constitute an offence in all Member States and must be punishable by effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties of a maximum of at least one to three years of imprisonment.”
Certain forms of conduct as outlined below, which are committed for a racist or xenophobic purpose, are punishable as criminal offences:
- public incitement to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined on the basis of race, colour, descent, religion or belief, or national or ethnic origin;
From the “Framework” (pdf):
Member States shall take the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of this Framework Decision by 28 November 2010.
 A few more quotes from that “Framework” (pdf), with the more interesting parts bolded:
Offences concerning racism and xenophobia
1. ensure that the following intentional conduct is punishable: Each Member State shall take the measures necessary to (a) publicly inciting to violence or hatred directed against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, religion, descent or national or ethnic origin; (b) the commission of an act referred to in point (a) by public dissemination or distribution of tracts, pictures or other material; […] 3. For the purpose of paragraph 1, the reference to religion is intended to cover, at least, conduct which is a pretext for directing acts against a group of persons or a member of such a group defined by reference to race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin.
Initiation of investigation or prosecution
Each Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that investigations into or prosecution of the conduct referred to in Articles 1 and 2 shall not be dependent on a report or an accusation made by a victim of the conduct, at least in the most serious cases where the conduct has been committed in its territory.
1. Each Member State shall take the necessary measures to establish its jurisdiction with regard to the conduct referred to in Articles 1 and 2 where the conduct has been committed: (a) in whole or in part within its territory; (b) by one of its nationals; or (c) for the benefit of a legal person that has its head office in the territory of that Member State. 2. When establishing jurisdiction in accordance with paragraph 1(a), each Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that its jurisdiction extends to cases where the conduct is committed through an information system and: (a) the offender commits the conduct when physically present in its territory, whether or not the conduct involves material hosted on an information system in its territory; (b) the conduct involves material hosted on an information system in its territory, whether or not the offender commits the conduct when physically present in its territory.
Implementation and review
1. Member States shall take the necessary measures to comply with the provisions of this Framework Decision by 28 November 2010.