Turkish author sentenced to 3.5 years
for insulting both Erdoğan and Atatürk
27 October 2015 Tuesday, 16:55
Author Edip Yüksel has been found guilty of insulting then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as well as the legacy of Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in a series of posts on both Twitter and Facebook. A court has sentenced the writer to three years and six months in prison.
Judge Mustafa Gürbüz of the Istanbul Anadolu 57th Criminal Court of First Instance ruled on Tuesday that author Edip Yüksel was guilty of insulting both President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Prime Minister at the time) and Mustafa Kemal Atatürk through social media, giving him 1 year 9 months for each crime, a total of three years and six months in prison.
The offending comments were posted on Facebook and Twitter on Jan. 2, 2013.
“Of course, it is normal for a country’s leader, someone in the prime minister position, to be criticized. These constructive criticisms also help these leaders make better decisions. But these criticisms should not be demeaning, but rather constructive and expository. The defendant, however, has far exceeded the limits of acceptable criticism and used words that contain insult multiple times,” the court ruling read.
On the charge of “insulting a public servant due to the conduct of their duties,” Yüksel was found guilty and sentenced to one year, nine months in prison. On the similar charge of “insulting the legacy of Atatürk,” the defendant was also found guilty and sentenced to another year and nine months.
Judge Gürbüz decided to not grant Yüksel a reduction in the sentence, as he did not indicate any remorse for his actions. However, the author was granted a reprieve of the punishment and one year of probation.
Oct 27, 2015 | BGNNews.com | Istanbul