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Reproduced by Australian Atatürk Cultural Centre Inc. 8 Nobody in Turkey should attempt to force his views on others. Any attempt to do so should not be tolerated. Those who obstinately advocate religion now seem to have learned what this freedom involves. Does this mean, then, that we have developed a feeling of tolerance towards religion and freedom of conscience in general? To clarify this point, let us see what tolerance means, for everybody is ready to offer his own interpretation. Is there anyone left who still does not regard freedom of religion as a right? What is the current attitude of those who used to believe that freedom of conscience merely meant the privilege of the pious soul to follow a religious existence under the sublime supervision of God? Aren't such people at least inwardly angry with those who do not think exactly as they do?7 It is of course a fact that the spread of tolerance and its acceptance as a human quality depends on the existence of a high level of intellectual training (...). Freedom to Assemble and to Criticise These two freedoms stem from the same principle, which concerns people's right to express and publish their ideas freely. For their own education and learning as well as in the interest of society as a whole, citizens must exchange views. They must be able to express their thoughts as they wish (...), Assembly refers to people convening temporarily with the object of thinking and talking together or listening to each other.8 The views of the government must be an expression of the consensus in the country (...), Views expressed by the people in elections are not permanent views. For this reason, parliament cannot reflect the views of the public indefinitely. Public opinion is an ocean of diverse views flowing from the nation. In that ocean different movements form different waves of opinion. Public opinion fluctuates continually.9 There should be complete freedom to criticise and to discuss. This freedom should be exercised by any individual without his being subject to anyone else's influence. It is the freedom to criticise which keeps government and parliament on the alert. The main vehicle exercising the freedom to criticise is the media. The media prevents abuse and compels government agencies to carry out their functions correctly. It is the most effective way to control government. But it should be kept in mind that although it is easy to criticise, it is difficult to do anything well. The idea is that the good of society should prevail in and underlie all criticism and debate. If this point is taken as a basis, criticism and debate do the country good and serve to enhance the social and political training of its citizens. Freedom to criticise social affairs provides for a better understanding between government and people.10 Freedom of the Press It must be realised that newspapers are not schoolbooks. Certain despicable characters have been known to pay money to start polemics in the press. And the

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