Civil Liberties

Feeling the Angst? A Year in Jail Should Help.


Several years ago a young Turkish rock band released a song railing against the unfairness of the country's national standardized test for university entrance. "Life should not be a prison because of an exam," they sang, "I have gotten lost; you have ruined my future; I am going to tell you one thing: Shove that exam…"

This week they are standing trial for "insulting Turkishness," with the possibility of an 18 month jail sentence if convicted. That seems unlikely, however:

There's been little public discussion about the wisdom of prosecuting the punk band. Turkish prosecutors routinely file defamation complaints, creating a glut of cases, some of which never go to trial.

So the whole case is a tiresome and wasteful use of government resources—if Turkey keeps it up, its prospects for EU membership look better than ever. (via Shoutmouth)