Fri, 20 May 2022

Turkish journalist arrested, faces jail for insulting Erdogan

Robert Besser
24 Jan 2022, 23:17 GMT+10

ISTANBUL, Turkey: A Turkish journalist has been arrested for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, her lawyer said.

Journalist Sedef Kabas was arrested after citing a proverb on television and social media referring to an ox.

"Insulting our nation's elected president with ugly and vulgar expressions is, in fact, an attack on the national will," tweeted Numan Kurtulmus, deputy head of the ruling party.

Under the law, which outlaws insulting Erdogan, tens of thousands have been prosecuted since he became president in 2014. Earlier, Erdogan served more than a decade as prime minister.

In court, the judge ruled that Kabas posed a flight risk.

Kabas, 53, has hosted Turkish TV shows for over three decades.

Police detained her at her home in Istanbul following her remarks on Tele 1 and Twitter.

While government officials condemned Kabas, opposition politicians defended her right to free speech.

Opposition party leader Meral Aksener used a hashtag in support of Kabas. "This mindset will go and justice will again come to Turkey," she wrote.

If found guilty of insulting Erdogan, Kabas can receive a four-year prison term.

Since 2014, more than 35,500 people have been charged with insulting Erdogan, resulting in nearly 13,000 convictions, according to Turkey's Justice Ministry.

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