The Turkish and Azerbaijani governments both deny that the genocide committed against Armenians in 1914-23 took place. But has either of those jurisdictions, or that of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, actually criminalised the public recognition of this genocide? In other words, if I were to go to any of those three jurisdictions and affirm in public that the genocide took place, would I be breaking the law?

1 Answer 1


Unlike some European countries, you are free to declare your thought on this matter, freedom of speech is well protected. There is no specific law that prohibits this declaration.

However, I can think of few scenarios may arise depends on your actions.

  1. If you use unreasonable sharp words or direct insults towards Republic of Turkey or Turks in general, you might be found guilty from "Humiliating Turkishness".

  2. The sources you will be using will most likely be the propaganda sources, and if you do this declaration in a more organized way, you may get in to trouble.

For your case specifically, you already mentioned as "Genocide of 1914-23".

The well structured case is that "Armenians were under mass-deportation at 1915, and this act was done with the intention of completely destroying Armenian existence." This deportation was organized by Ottoman Empire, and it was well documented and organized, and you are free to make your decision about if there is any intention of genocide - Republic of Turkey encourages it, in fact you may find many Turkish people who genuinely supports this claim.

However, you stated "1914-1923", which includes The War of Turkish Independence. At this point there were virtually no Armenians left in Turkish heartland, and I assume you try to include 800.000 Greeks and some other minorities to the case. There is no constructed case for this claim by any country, and in fact Greeks in Turkey were not even killed, they were sent to Greece, and by Greece's own request.

No country ever created this "1876-1923 Armenian Genocide" claim, and its only mentioned as a fact in online media sources such as Reddit, Wikipedia, or youtube. They also mention that 3 Million Armenians and 800.000 Greeks were killed, "Armenians were dumped to the sea", "Or there were 30 Autschwitz-style death camps in Turkey".

In Turkey no one would believe you are genuinely naive enough to believe these stories, and you may risk of having a sentence by telling so.

EDIT: Related article from Turkish penal law: (Insulting Turkishness) ARTICLE 301 - (Amended article and title: 5759 - 30.4.2008 / art.1) (1) A person who publicly insults the Turkish Nation, the State of the Republic of Turkey, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the Government of the Republic of Turkey or the judicial organs of the State, can be punishable by imprisonment for a period of six months to two years.

  • 3
    If there is a law against "Humiliating Turkishness", that would be a huge exception to any concept of freedom of speech. Jul 13, 2022 at 17:55
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    Those interested in the actual history should look at the extensively footnoted Wikipedia page. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_genocide Jul 13, 2022 at 18:05
  • It flexibility is somewhere between US and European concept of Freedom of Speech, consider it the same as "Laws against denying genocide".
    – Pecheneg
    Jul 14, 2022 at 10:06
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    Those interested in actual history should not look and rely on any wikipedia page, period.
    – Pecheneg
    Jul 14, 2022 at 10:07
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    Can you cite any Turkish legislation substantiating your 2 bullet points re "Humiliating Turkishness" and "getting in to trouble" and your final claim "you may risk a sentence". You can see how things works here by taking the Tour and reading through our Help centre - especially the part on How do I write a good answer?.
    – user35069
    Jul 14, 2022 at 11:55

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