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Old 07-27-2005, 06:27 AM   #1
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freedom of speech or.. not?

ok, here is what happened in switzerland:

Turkey's foreign minister, Abdullah Gül, has criticised Switzerland for briefly detaining a Turkish politician on suspicion of violating Swiss anti-racism laws.

Doğu Perinçek, who is leader of Turkey’s Workers’ Party, has twice denied that the killings of Armenians around the time of the First World War amounted to genocide. He is the subject of two criminal investigations.


Under Swiss law, any act of denying, belittling or justifying genocide is a violation of the country’s anti-racism laws.

"It is not possible for us to accept these things to be done to the leader of a political party in Turkey," Gül was quoted in the Hürriyet newspaper.

"Do these actions suit a country like Switzerland?" he asked.

Questioned

The public prosecutor of Winterthur questioned Perinçek on Saturday for more than two hours after a news conference he gave on Friday in Glattbrugg, near Zurich.

In the speech honouring the 82nd anniversary of the Treaty of Lausanne, which fixed the borders of modern-day Turkey, Perinçek called claims of genocide against the Armenians an imperialist lie, authorities said.

Perinçek is also under investigation from authorities in canton Vaud after a complaint from a Swiss-Armenian Society over a speech he gave in Lausanne in May.

Gül described Saturday’s questioning as "unacceptable" and "absolutely contrary to the principle of free speech".

On Sunday, Perinçek repeated his denial of the Armenian genocide at celebrations attended by about 2,000 Turks near the Beau-Rivage hotel, scene of the treaty negotiations.

Kurds

About 300 Kurds, who also marked the anniversary, demonstrated in front of the Palais de Rumine where the treaty was signed.

Speakers criticised the treaty, which had "made a mockery of the hope for freedom" of Turkish minorities.

Armenians say 1.5 million of their people were killed as the Ottoman Empire forced them from eastern Turkey between 1915 and 1923. They argue that this was a deliberate campaign of genocide by Turkey’s rulers at that time.

Turks say the death count is inflated and insist that Armenians were killed or displaced as the Ottoman Empire tried to secure its border with Russia and stop attacks by Armenian militants.

Switzerland and Turkey have argued over the issue in the past.

In June, a Turkish cabinet minister postponed a visit to Switzerland to protest against a Swiss investigation of a Turkish historian who made a similar speech denying that the mass killings of Armenians in the early 1900s amounted to genocide.

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey had been scheduled to travel to Turkey in 2003, but Ankara withdrew its invitation after the parliament of a western Swiss canton recognised the killings of Armenians in Turkey as genocide.

http://www.swissinfo.org/sen/swissin...=1122290398000

So thats what happened. I admit, the guy (who heads the communist Labor Party) is not the most eloquent spokesman of my country. But that, is not the point. To me, imprisoning someone just because of their opinions or mere words, unless they are harming anyone or provoking anyone to do so, is unacceptable. Doesnt this aim to regulate what people can think in a country? Apparently, freedom of speech only applies if you like what a person is saying.

What do you think? Freedom or speech, or not?
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Old 07-27-2005, 07:00 AM   #2
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Well if they have anti-racism laws then they don't have free speech. Free speech will protect all speech even that which is considered the most abhorrent by most.
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Old 07-27-2005, 10:56 AM   #3
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You can find similar regulations on many campus colleges today.


We have freedom of speech, its just that some speech is more free than others.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:38 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader



We have freedom of speech, its just that some speech is more free than others.
Very Orwell-ian but very true.

The politician was expressing an opinion that is considered racist but should expressing your opinion be a criminal offence? I agree that unless the politician was actively trying to incite hatred or harm to be caused then it is very questionable whether he should be imprisoned for it.
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:39 AM   #5
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We're forgetting this is Europe. They are intolerant to hate speech just like we're intolerant of sexual speech.

Melon
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Old 07-27-2005, 11:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
You can find similar regulations on many campus colleges today.


We have freedom of speech, its just that some speech is more free than others.


nice platitude at the end, but you're forgetting that one of the reasons for the "regulation" of speech is that students, at college, are in effect at home. college is a place of residence (usually ... this applies more to private schools than to state universities) and people may not have a right, per say, but it seems to be at least a minimum of courtesy for someone not to have to hear offensive speech in their homes. the classroom is a different story, but when i was a resident advisor, we had rules about what was and what wasn't appropriate language. and it was pretty obvious. no racial slurs, and a general atmosphere of consideration.

again, the classroom is different; the dormitories, shared student spaces, i have no problems with the regulation of some speech on (at least private) college campuses.
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Old 07-27-2005, 12:20 PM   #7
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I wonder if this is really about Holocaust deniers?

I am sure if a Neo-Nazi was making a speech denying that genocide
there would be fewer arguments about free speech.


all_i_want,

My Turkish friend Fayez, is more inclined to believe that many Armenians were slaughtered, approaching the genocide claim.
I know different people have different opinions.
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Old 07-27-2005, 01:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
You can find similar regulations on many campus colleges today.


We have freedom of speech, its just that some speech is more free than others.
And churches, places of employment, etc, etc... but these aren't governments these are places of choice. You choose where you work, worship or get an education within that government.
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Old 07-27-2005, 02:25 PM   #9
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It's not like the guy has advocated the killing of anyone, Armenian, Kurd, or whoever. I don't think he should be arrested just for stating an opinion. No one *has* to like what he said.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:43 PM   #10
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


And churches, places of employment, etc, etc... but these aren't governments these are places of choice. You choose where you work, worship or get an education within that government.
Many, if not most colleges are run by the government.

The "choice" argument cannot apply when dealing with what I thought was a right.

Also, to Irvine511's point, the vast majority of the students are adults. I can't imagine we really need to protect them on the basis of shared space.
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Old 07-27-2005, 03:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Many, if not most colleges are run by the government.

The "choice" argument cannot apply when dealing with what I thought was a right.

Also, to Irvine511's point, the vast majority of the students are adults. I can't imagine we really need to protect them on the basis of shared space.
And many government employment offices have the same rules as well, but luckily our goverment doesn't...

The truth is almost anywhere you go under the umbrella of our government these laws exist in some form another, but there's always the choice to find another place under that umbrella.
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by deep
I am sure if a Neo-Nazi was making a speech denying that genocide
there would be fewer arguments about free speech.
I'd still support free speech, personally. Yes, there are people who, when I hear them talk, infuriate me with what they say-Neo-Nazis, homophobes, racists, etc., etc.-I think they're real assholes, no argument there. But they should still be entitled to speak their minds. Again I say, if we silence people like this, all it does is make them want to resort to more desperate, sometimes violent, means to get their views heard. Just avoid that now and let them say what's on their minds...hopefully most people would be smart enough to realize they sound like idiots and will refuse to agree with them.

Angela
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Old 07-27-2005, 04:08 PM   #13
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The best counter to speech is speech.
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Old 07-27-2005, 08:16 PM   #14
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Considering Turkey's own history of silencing discussion on this matter (internationally as well as domestically: remember the House's hasty abandonment of its '00 Armenian genocide resolution, after Turkey played the NATO-base card?), I find this newfound passion for free speech a bit hard to swallow.

It was only after an uproar (and several future membership status threats) from the EU that the Turkey's Parliament, in June, finally withdrew a provision from its new criminal code declaring it an imprisonable "offence against national interests" to claim that there had ever been an Armenian genocide. I don't recall Messrs. Gul or Perincek speaking up for freedom of speech back then.
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Old 07-28-2005, 12:26 AM   #15
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The biggest problem about free speech, there'll always be some people saying things you dont like. And really, that is the the most important part of free speech, respecting the words of those you disagree with. Admitted, Turkey has had mistakes in the past in this account, and I am in no way defending this. But the irony here is that, this happens in the heart of Europe and no one speaks against it.

As for the discussion on the matter of the so called genocide, dont you think this is more a matter of history that should be left to historians to discuss, based on actual, scientific evidence?

Also about the US House of representatives resolution you mentioned, that is basicly our cards against the Armenian lobbyists'. It is not a matter of truth, its a matter of politics as long as that is concerned. And it is not really a discussion if they just say 'yeah, we think genocide happened', is it? I dont think any parliament should pass judgement on historical matters without scientific approval.

Finally, I cant say that I like my government right now, they are conservative, right wingers I have little in common with. And I can only speak for myself, not for them, when I say that mere statement opinions on a matter can not be an offense against national interests. Anyway, I think we are moving in the right direction after all, but dont you think Europe should be setting a better example themselves?
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