Turkish parliament votes to delay implementation of penal code reforms

Turkish parliament votes to delay implementation of penal code reforms

[JURIST] The parliament of Turkey [JURIST news archive] voted Thursday to delay the implementation of the country's new penal code [JURIST report] until June 1. The reforms, passed in September as part of Turkey's efforts to join the European Union [official website], were scheduled to take effect Friday, but legislators voted on the delay to allow the government more time to make additional changes meant to ensure that the new legislation will not threaten press freedoms. Although the new penal code generally increases rights and freedoms, journalists have said that its vague language could make it easier to crack down on journalists as well as limit coverage of legal proceedings. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that the delay "should be seen as a token of the importance we attach to the wishes of civil groups." AP has more.