Cabinet prohibits Holocaust denial

It will become explicitly prohibited to publicly condone, deny or trivialize the horrors of the Holocaust. The Cabinet has resolved this at the suggestion of Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius of Justice and Security. Discrimination and racism are already prohibited. With this ban, victims, and their relatives, of genocide and other war crimes will soon also receive specific protection against particularly offensive statements that deny and trivialize these types of international crimes.

Minister Yeşilgöz-Zegerius:

“Denial of these kinds of heinous crimes against humanity is unfortunately commonplace. For example, we regularly see the monster of anti-Semitism rearing its head. This concerns me tremendously and should not be left unaddressed, as the lesson of the Holocaust is not just a history lesson. It is a lesson affecting the here and now. It is a lesson on discrimination, exclusion and ultimately: annihilation. It is a lesson on humanity and compassion. It is about good and evil, and speaking up when you witness a shift from one to the other. Let us continue to tell these stories, as the victims of these crimes are increasingly unable to do so themselves. Not timidly and in whispers, but confidently and with conviction.”

With this specific criminal prohibition, the cabinet is implementing European obligations to explicitly criminalize certain forms of publicly condoning, denying or substantially trivializing genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Insulting forms of condoning, denying or trivializing these international crimes will be punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 1 year. The prohibition is a component of the Bill to re-implement European criminal law.