We have translated the following text on the current legal environment in Turkey to give context to the case against LGBTI activist Levent Pişkin and the understanding of freedom of expression vs “insult”. Annotations in square brackets are notes by translators for clarity. Exchange rate used is 1 USD = 2.68 TL.
Of the 56 punitive or compensation lawsuits during the January-March 2015 period, 8 were initiated during Erdoğan’s prime ministry and 21 during his presidency, either by his complaint or with the justification that his personal rights were violated. Of the remaining 27, 7 were filed by his son Bilal Erdoğan and 3 were related to the Erdoğan family.
Source: Erol Önderoğlu, “Erdoğan’ı Eleştiren Kendini Mahkemede Buluyor; İşte Davalar!” [“Whoever criticizes Erdogan finds themselves in court; Here are the court cases!”], Bianet, 30 April 2015, http://www.bianet.org/bianet/medya/164185-erdogan-i-elestiren-kendini-mahkemede-buluyor-iste-davalar
Of the 17 remaining cases, two were initiated by former minister [of Transport, Maritime and Communication] Binali Yıldırım and the others by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş, Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, the Adana Mayor, the District Governor of Gerger [a district in the province of Adıyaman], the Ülker Group [a private company owned by Yıldız Holding], the police commissioner, Anadolu Agency [semi-official news agency], and a military colonel.
During the January-March 2015 period, 2 journalists were fined a total of 4,420TL [$1,630], 9 journalists’ cases are in progress, 6 were acquitted, with 2 of those cases being reopened or new charges being brought. A total of 1,520,000 TL [$561,570] of compensation was being demanded from 4 journalists and 2 newspapers.
This data reflects only those cases that were noted by the media and those that Bianet reported on.
Here is the breakdown of these 3 months
Boğatekin jailed for “Slander”: The Gerger Criminal Court of First Instance  sentenced the Gerger Fırat newspaper’s news director Özgür Boğatekin to 1 year and 15 days in prison for allegedly slandering former District Governor Ömer Bilgin in four articles. A suit was not brought against his father Hacı Boğatekin because they did not find “criminal elements” in the same articles. (31 March)
Investigation into 59 Twitter accounts: An investigation has begun after the Anadolu Agency filed a complaint about 59 Twitter accounts for “insult, slander, threat, provoking hate and enmity”. Among the accounts are pop singer Atilla Taş, musician Fazıl Say, journalists Can Dündar, Ahmet Şık, Melis Alphan, and Burcu Karakaş, Republican People’s Party MP Umut Oran, and fuatavni [an anonymous Twitter whistleblower, allegedly with ties to the Gülen movement, who leaks insights on government corruption and other political issues]. (30 March)
Acquittal for two journalists: The Istanbul 2nd Court of First Instance acquitted the Cumhuriyet newspaper’s news director Aykut Küçükkaya and former editor-in-chief İbrahim Yıldız in a case brought against them on the basis of “violating the confidentiality of the investigation” and “insult” for their publications on the 17-25 December Bribery and Corruption Investigation. (24 March)
Bilal Trial for Babahan: Journalist Ergun Babahan of Millet newspaper was put on trial and sentenced to 2 years and 8 months imprisonment on the grounds that he allegedly insulted President Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan in his article titled “Let’s shout out together: The thief will be brought to account.” (24 March)
A complaint against Bağdat from Gökçek: Metropolitan mayor of Ankara, Melih Gökçek, made an allegation against [Turkish-Armenian journalist] Hayko Bağdat for “insult, slander, threat, provoking hate and enmity”, on the grounds that he stated via twitter that “They surrendered the capital city to an Armenian. What a shame.” Gökçek filed compensation lawsuit for 10,000 TL [3,731 USD]. (23 March)
Compensation lawsuit against Yazıcı for 50,000 TL: The president’s son Bilal Erdoğan filed a compensation lawsuit for 50,000 TL in the Istanbul Anadolu 25th Criminal Court of First Instance against journalist Aysun Yazıcı of the Taraf newspaper on the grounds that she wrote about the verdict of his non-prosecution. (20 March)
Acquittal for Yazıcı: Istanbul Anadolu 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance acquitted journalist Aysun Yazıcı of the Taraf newspaper who was on trial for insult and aspersion for writing about the verdict of non-prosecution of the corruption investigation into the President’s son Bilal Erdoğan. (March 19th)
Compensation lawsuit against Evrensel for 50,000 TL: The Ülker Group [a private company owned by Yıldız Holding] filed a compensation lawsuit for 50,000 TL [18,657 USD] against the daily Evrensel newspaper officials for their news on the union struggle. (17 March)
Compensation lawsuit against BirGün for 350,000 TL: President Erdoğan and Emine Erdoğan, Sümeyye Erdoğan, Esra Albayrak, and Berat Albayrak from his family, have filed a compensation lawsuit for 350,000 TL [130,597] against the BirGün newspaper for its headline “Parasites Organization”, published on December 17, 2014. (17 March)
Fatih Polat as the defendant: Fatih Polat, director of the daily newspaper Evrensel, is currently being tried by the Istanbul 12th Court of First Instance, on the grounds of “insult” and “slander”, for publishing a piece on the women’s associations’ protests in front of the Istanbul Police Department with the headline “Sedat Selim Ay must be tried”. The trial will continue on June 6. (12 March)
A lawsuit for 50,000 TL against Yaman: Özcan Yaman, columnist for the daily Evrensel newspaper, will be tried in a compensation lawsuit for 50,000 TL [18,656 USD], on the grounds that he has violated Bilal Erdoğan’s personal rights with his article titled “The difference between the photographer and the photo reporter.” Yet the same article article was cleared of the charges of insult and violation of the confidentiality in a previous investigation. (12 March)
Yavuz gets sentenced: Adana Ceyhan 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance has punished journalist Osman Yavuz with a 2,240 TL [835 USD] judicial fine for his article criticizing the Justice and Development Party (AKP) published on the Çukurova Plus News site, on the grounds of insult and threat. (10 March)
Compensation Lawsuit against Özdil: Former Minister of Transportation Binali Yıldırım has filed a compensation lawsuit of 20,000 TL [7,463 USD] at the Istanbul Anadolu 29th Criminal Court of First Instance against journalist-author Yılmaz Özdil, on the grounds of insult for the statements in his book titled “We Walked These Roads Together”. (9 March)
No suit filed against violence: Hakkari Public Prosecutor gave a decision of non-prosecution for the complaint filed by the Yüksekova Haber newspaper’s journalist Kadir Kaya against police officers who broke his camera during the Education and Science Workers’ Union demonstration. The Criminal Court of Peace rejected the appeal. (5 March)
Suit against journalist and security personnel: A suit seeking a jail time of 5 years and 4 months has been brought against Cihan Agency correspondent Osman Arslan for insulting and resisting a public official, when he allegedly insulted security personnel who blocked him from taking footage of former Chief of Defense İlker Başbuğ entering Istanbul Courthouse. Two security personnel will be tried for “violating the right to work through force or threats”. The trial will take place at Istanbul 26th Court of First Instance. (4 March)
“Bilal” Case against Soner Yalçın: Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance has started trying Soner Yalçın, the author of the book titled “Lost Register – Erdoğan’s Stolen File”, for allegations of insulting Bilal Erdoğan, the president’s son. Yalçın is on trial in which a prison sentence of 4 months to 2 years and 8 months is being sought. The trial will proceed on May 7. (3 March)
Lawsuit against the book “Big Boss”: A lawsuit demanding the confiscation of the book titled “Big Boss” by journalist Mustafa Hoş was filed at the Istanbul 12th Criminal Court of First Instance. The book is also the subject of an investigation for “Insulting the President”. It has been alleged that Hasan Yeşildağ [who is close to President Erdoğan] was insulted in the book. (28 February)
“Bilal” Case against the author: A lawsuit which demands imprisonment up to 2 years 8 months was filed against the author Ali Emre Özsoy for allegedly calling the president’s son, Bilal Erdoğan, a “gang leader” in his book “There is a Thief”. (27 February)
He is demanding a million liras for a news article: Ömer Faruk Kavurmacı, who is Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş’s son-in-law and the chairman of the executive board of Aydınlı Conglomerate, has filed a compensation lawsuit against Çiğdem Toker, a journalist from the daily Cumhuriyet newspaper, based on her article titled “Did you say ‘I wouldn’t forgive nepotism’?”, demanding a million Turkish liras. The case is proceeding at the Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. (27 February)
Topbaş vs. Toker: The Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance has begun the proceedings of the lawsuit filed by Istanbul Metropolitan Mayor Kadir Topbaş against an author from the daily Cumhuriyet newspaper, Çiğdem Toker, on the grounds of insult, for her article titled “Did you say ‘I wouldn’t forgive nepotism’?” The case has been postponed until April 28. (26 February)
Defendant because of an article on torture: A case against the newspaper Milliyet’s reporter Kemal Göktaş, who was accused of insulting the prosecutor and of “attempting to manipulate a person doing their judiciary duty” in his article titled “Apparently it is not torture but only fury,” has began at The Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. The trial will take place on April 14. (19 February)
Coşkun still on trial: Newspaper Cumhuriyet’s reporter Canan Coşkun is on trial because of her story titled “The mansion as a gift to TÜRGEV” dated 13 September 2014 with the allegation that she has insulted TÜRGEV official Bilal Erdoğan. The trial is on April 14. (19 February)
Fine for insult to Kırıkkanat: The Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced İclal Mine Kırıkkanat, a journalist at the newspaper Cumhuriyet, to a fine of 2,180 TL [813 USD] on the grounds that she had insulted Adnan Oktar by criticizing Oktar’s writing style on Twitter; the court postponed the final verdict until a later date. (13 February)
Case against Atilla Taş: A case was filed against the singer Atilla Taş at the 2nd and 5th Criminal Courts of First Instance of Ankara with the allegation that he has “insulted” Prime Minister Davutoğlu via twitter messages that employed ironic language to criticize Davutoğlu for being President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s sidekick. (6 February)
Insult case against book: Binali Yıldırım, former minister of Transport, Maritime and Communication and lead advisor to the Presidency, has filed a case for 20,000 TL [7,463 USD] in indemnities against Ali Emre Özsoy at the Istanbul Anatolia 4th Criminal Court of First Instance, alleging that he was insulted in the book “There is a Thief”.
Wave of investigations and cases against Aygül: In the past 10 months, nearly 70 investigations and suits have been filed against Sinan Aygül, DIHA [Dicle News Agency] correspondent and editor-in-chief of news site bitlisaktuel.com, for his coverage of the corruption news. The journalist has stated that he will not make a statement as part of civil disobedience due to his occupation. (2 February)
Twitter suit against teacher: A case has been filed against retired teacher Meral Bekar at the Adana 11th Criminal Court of First Instance for tweeting about İbrahim Aras who was killed by police in Adana. The tweet was, “Hey, Adana Police Chief Cengiz Zeybek, if the state’s job is to kill İbrahim Aras, that state better fall on your head and you get stuck beneath it”.
Insult Case against Encü: A lawsuit has been filed against Veli Encü, a family member of those who were killed at the Roboski Massacre, on the grounds of insulting Colonel Abdullah Baysal, due to his remarks on Twitter which read “People of Roboski will not be deterred by the threats of a poor excuse of a commander”. (1 February)
Acquittal for Gülseven: Yurt newspaper writer Hakan Gülseven was acquitted in the insult case on which he was tried for insulting Adana Governor Hüseyin Avni Coş in his 30 April 2014 article that states “There is at least one gavat [one who pimps his wife] in Adana”. (29 February)
“Cartoon” investigation against social media: The Gölbaşı Public Prosecutor’s Office initiated an investigation on the basis that Prophet Muhammad was being insulted on Facebook. (25 January)
“Threat” of judicial action against Şener: Following the Supreme Court of Appeals’ decision to overturn the case, Istanbul’s 11th Heavy Penal Court suspended, as per Article 6352, the case against Nedim Şener, who was acquitted from the first case brought against him with the allegations that he insulted police officers Muhittin Zenit, Ramazan Akyürek, Faruk Sarı, and Ali Fuat Yılmazer in his book “The Hrant Dink Assassination and the Lies of the Intelligence Agencies”. If the journalist faces similar charges within the next 5 years, the court case will be reinitiated. Şener assessed that the decision was a threat. (1 January)
Non-prosecution for Dündar: The prosecutor’s office decided not to prosecute the editor-in-chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper Can Dündar for the allegations of “insulting the President” and “slander” following his interview of Prosecutor Celal Kara, who was active in the 17 December 2013 corruption investigation. The court’s opinion stated that the news item was “part of a journalist’s task and its publication as news cannot be considered a crime. Otherwise, the media, which is the eyes and the ears of the public, cannot realize its duties.” (5 March)
The bulb is not a crime: The Çanakkale 3rd Criminal Court of First Instance stated in its detailed ruling with regards to the children, N.A., A.P., E.Ç., and N.P., who were acquitted of the allegations of insulting the then prime minister Erdoğan [allegedly with the graffiti “Bulb Erdoğan” and “Merchant Erdoğan”], that “The bulb is the logo of the political party headed by the plaintiff at the time of the complaint. Merchant is the name of a reputable occupation. These words do not constitute an insult.” (26 January)
“Shocking idea count as freedom of expression too:” Istanbul’s 9th Heavy Penal Court stated in its acquittal decision regarding the case of Judge Sevgi Övüç, who was a representative of the Judges’ Union and was tried for the article “Aren’t 14 prosecutors too few to cover up the 17 December thefts and corruption?” published on adalet.org [a public forum website for judicial workers], that “[expressing] ideas and information that are hurtful, shocking are also [part of one’s] freedom of expression.” (9 February)
“Not a crime but a personal opinion:” Gaziantep’s 2nd Heavy Penal Court acquitted 10 defendants who were charged for “provocation to hate and enmity” for chanting “Biji Serok Apo” (Long Live Chief Apo [in Kurdish]) during the 2013 Newroz celebrations. The court’s opinion stated that “Their slogan is limited to their expression of their personal thoughts, wishes, and opinions and, as such, does not constitute a character that requires penal administration, as per the maxim of ‘[There exists] no crime [and] no punishment without a pre-existing penal law [appertaining]’.” (14 January)
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Troubles
3 journalists and 2 cartoonists were sentenced to a total of 16 months and 20 days of jail time, with postponement, and 21,000 TL [$7,760] in fines over allegations of “insulting Erdoğan”. New cases were brought against journalist Barış İnce and columnist Ender İmrek for “insulting the President” (Turkish Penal Code, Article 299). 7 people in Çanakkale and Dikili were reprimanded with a total of 57,100 TL [$21,095] punitive fines over the same allegations.
Jail time and detention for criticism of Erdoğan: During the January-March 2015 period, dozens of people from Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP), United June Movement (BHH), and The People’s Communist Party of Turkey (HTKP) were detained over allegations of insulting Erdoğan or were taken from their homes for their statements. Among those who faced this situation following a press release, a slogan, a banner/ poster, or tweet and were alleged to have insulted Erdoğan were ÖDP and BHH member Onur Kılıç, Kadir Yavaş, Özgür Ergun, Şafak Kurt, Serdar Yazgan, and [members] from HTKP Erkan Altuner, Zeki Çetin ve Aytaç Örtücü. Cases were brought against some of them. (31 March)
“Erdoğan” cases against performer and model: TV series actress Nazlı Gonca Vuslateri was sued for insulting President Erdoğan via Twitter. On February, model Merve Büyüksaraç was also sued for insulting then Prime Minister Erdoğan via Instagram. (27 March)
Gülseven convicted: Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance punished Yurt newspaper writer Hakan Gülseven for insulting then Prime Minister Erdoğan with a 7,000 TL [$2,590] fine converted from prison sentence. (27 March)
“Congratulations, sir, welcome to the palace.
“This is a very dry welcome, we could at least sacrifice a journalist!” (Source)
Baruter and Aydoğan convicted: Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced cartoonists Bahadır Baruter and Özer Aydoğan to 14 months of prison for allegations that a cartoon depicted a “ball sign” motion [implying Erdoğan to be gay] being made to Erdoğan in a cartoon. The penalty was converted to 7,000 TL [$2,590]. Following this, a complaint was filed against Baruter for saying “[the charges] make me doubt the prosecutor’s subconscious as well”, allegedly referring to prosecutor Vedat Yiğit, who had initiated the court proceedings. (24 March)
Erdoğan punishment to journalist: Adana’s 6th Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced Mine Bekiroğlu to 5 months in prison over allegations that she threatened Erdoğan in her Facebook messages. The execution of the sentence was postponed. (19 March)
Lawsuit from 299 against İmrek: Daily Evrensel writer Ender İmrek will be tried on allegations of “insulting the President” for the article “Can corruption, theft, bribery be hidden?” with regards to the media blackout of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey’s Investigative Commission on Corruption. The case, where İmrek is being tried for a sentence of 4 years, will be held on 2 June at Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance. (18 March)
Investigation of insulting Erdoğan: Journalist Mustafa Hoş, author of the book “Big Boss”, testified with regards to the investigation brought against him on suspicion of “insulting the President.” (18 March)
Legal procedure stopped: 14th Criminal Court of First Instance of Küçükçekmece [in Istanbul] halted the case opened against Psychiatrist Ahmet Koyuncu, M.D. regarding his facebook post titled “Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the average Turk” dating from June 2014. Unless Erdoğan’s lawyers renew their complaint, the case will be dropped. (18 March)
Erdoğan investigation against Döker: An investigation was started against Emre Döker, a news reporter at the newspaper Cumhuriyet, with the suspicion of “insulting the President”. Döker had written an article about the changes in public work procedures [involving the alleged collusion with the Erdoğan family to reduce the construction area’s status from its former “Nature Preservation Zone”] in order to allow the construction of Urla Luxury Villas, titled “They have sacrificed the village.” (17 March)
Case against poster: A case was filed against members of the The People’s Communist Party of Turkey (HTKP) Erkan Altuner, Zeki Çetin, and Aytaç Örtücü on the basis of “insulting the President.” The claim was the members had hung a poster portraying President Erdoğan with a “Hitler” moustache with the text “Go ahead, go ahead, go to Çankaya Palace” [presidential palace in Ankara.] The trial will start on April 20 at the 24th Criminal Court of First Instance of Izmir. (16 March)
TOMA, an armored water cannon vehicle, as depicted on a social media campaign photo during the 2013 Gezi Protests. (Source)
Seçkin is on trial: The 30th Criminal Court of First Instance of Ankara started trying Halk TV Manager Müşerref Seçkin because of the channel’s broadcast during the Gezi Park Protests, which subsequently spread throughout the country, in June 2013. Seçkin is being tried on the grounds that, during the events, the channel had run images of an armored water cannon vehicle [called “TOMA”] with graffiti insulting the president on both sides. Seçkin’s imprisonment for up to 11 years is being demanded with claims of “insult against Erdoğan for his public duty”, “praising crime and the criminal” and “provocation of people to animosity and enmity”. The trial is going to take place on June 16. (12 March)
Erdoğan suit filed against high school student: High school student M.E.A. was detained in Konya for two days in order to subsequently be tried at court. M.E.A.’s lawyer filed a request to reject the judge and the case has been delayed until April 3. (6 March)
Arrest order against Aytaç: 16th Criminal Court of First Instance of Ankara has ordered the arrest of Önder Aytaç, who did not make a statement at court. Aytaç was being tried on the grounds of insulting president Erdoğan via his Twitter account. (4 March)
Erdoğan fines: The Dikili Criminal Court of First Instance issued Çağdaş İkiz, Sinan Demirdöven, and Deniz Öztürk a fine of 9,700 TL [3,619 USD] each on the grounds of insulting the prime minister of the time Erdoğan during Gezi protests on June 1, 2013. (27 February)
Dündar’s trials have started: The Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance has started trying Can Dündar, a Cumhuriyet newspaper journalist, upon complaints from former Prime Minister Erdoğan, his son Bilal Erdoğan, and his close circle, with the claim that Dündar had “insulted” and “violated the confidentiality of the investigation” when addressing the December 2013 corruption allegations against the Erdoğan government. [See also the above linked documentary featuring Can Dündar’s commentary.] The two trials will take place on April 28. (26 February)
Erdoğan suits filed against İnce: The Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance continued to try BirGün newspaper’s editor Barış İnce who had published the TÜRGEV proceedings under the title “They made double highways in their pockets” [which implies that the construction of public infrastructure was heavily tainted with corruption, bribery, and embezzlement] with charges of “insult” and “violation of confidentiality”. Another case has been opened for article “You know the organization, and you know the leader too” with the charges of “insulting a public worker”. The complainants are President Erdoğan, his daughter Esra Albayrak, his other daughter Sümeyye Erdoğan, his son Bilal Erdoğan, his son-in-law Berat Albayrak, Abdülhamit Çay and Cengiz Aktürk. The trials will be held on the April 7 and 16. (26 February)
New case against İnce: A new suit was filed against the newspaper BirGün’s editor-in-chief Barış İnce because of his usage of the expression “Tayyip the Thief” within his defense statement as an acrostic at the court while being tried on the published news about the corruption allegations. (24 February)
Investigation against Dumanlı: An investigation was opened against Zaman newspaper’s editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı, based on the suspicion that he had engaged in insult and slander against President Erdoğan in his news piece titled “Very controversial allegation from fuatavni: The National Intelligence Agency (MIT) will engage in a bloody operation and will blame it on the [Gülenist] cemaat.” (20 February)
Acquittal for Bektaş: The Konya 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance has acquitted the local president of Education and Science Workers’ Union (Eğitim-Sen), Cebrail Bektaş who was being tried for accusing then Prime Minister Erdoğan of the death of Berkin Elvan, announcing that “the elements of the crime were not present.” (19 February)
Delayed imprisonment for Kazcı: The 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance of Anatolian Istanbul sentenced soL newspaper’s director Hafize Kazcı to delayed imprisonment of 11 months and 20 days. Kazcı had published FKF’s [“The Federation of Idea Clubs,” a student and youth organization] response to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s speech referring to Middle Eastern Technical University’s students as “These are terrorists, these are atheists” with the title “We are leftists, you are a thief”. (17 February)
Arrest for insulting Erdoğan: Onur Kılıç, Freedom and Solidarity Party’s (ÖDP) Party Assembly member and İzmir City Coordination member of the United June Movement (BHH), was taken into custody on 12 February and arrested for “insulting President Erdoğan” by the Izmir 5th Criminal Court of Peace. (13 February)
Imprisonment for “insult” for Yavaş as well: Kadir Yavaş, who used the same slogan as Onur Kılıç during the protests against Onur Kılıç’s arrest and shouted “Thief and killer Erdoğan” was also arrested for “insulting Erdoğan.” (14 February)
Lawsuit against Prosecutor Öz: A court case in Düzce 1st Criminal Court of Aggravated Crimes was brought against Bolu Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz, who was charged with “insulting the President” for allegations of spreading tweets that allegedly included insults against Erdoğan. (9 February)
A lawsuit for a passenger too: A court case was brought against B.I., who was alleged to have said “Did you too learn how to rob the people from…” when asked by a police officer to pay the transaction stamp [a fee charged to Turkish passport holders departing Turkey for international travel] on their way to Switzerland, for “insulting the President”, with a requested punishment of 4 years. (5 February)
No lawsuit for the author: The investigation against Karadeniz Post newspaper and Vira Trabzon website author Ahmet Şefik Mollamehmetoğlu for his article “99 million 999 thousand 990 dollars” resulted in a decision of non-prosecution. The investigation was brought on the suspicion of insult to then Prime Minister Erdoğan, his son Bilal Erdoğan, and Saudi businessperson Yasin El Kadı and of violating the confidentiality of an investigation. (4 February)
Arrest warrant for Uslu: Istanbul’s 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance issued an arrest warrant for Taraf newspaper and Cumhuriyet newspaper columnist Emre Uslu with regards to his 30 January 2014 article “Sham Assassination Preparation” for allegations of insulting President Erdoğan and the head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Hakan Fidan. (3 February)
Lawsuit for “insulting Erdoğan”: A lawsuit was filed against Mine Bekiroğlu in Adana’s 6th Criminal Court of First Instance for allegedly insulting then Prime Minister Erdoğan through Facebook shares. (28 January)
A child tried for “insulting Erdoğan:” Konya Public Prosecutor’s Office filed a lawsuit with the permission of the Ministry of Justice against M.E.A. for saying “We perceive Erdoğan not as the president of this country but as the thief Tayyip of an illegally constructed palace.” (23 January)
Penalties for insulting Erdoğan: Çanakkale’s 5th Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced three teachers, including Dr. Telat Koç, and one university student to 11 months and 20 days in prison for chanting “Tayyip Erdoğan the Thief” and “Tayyip got surprised, lifted the money” during the National Education Law Proposition protests on 26 April 2014. The prison sentence was converted to 7,000 TL [$2,590] and the sentencing was postponed for 5 years. (20 January)
 The term “Criminal Court of First Instance” refers to the relevant criminal court before which the lawsuit in question was filed. Pursuant to the Turkish legal system, criminal cases are initially reviewed and ruled by criminal courts of first instance. There are three types of criminal courts in Turkey, competencies of which are determined according to the sanctions set forth under the Turkish criminal laws for the relevant crime. Ranked by severity, these are the Criminal Court of Peace (Sulh Ceza Mahkemesi), the Criminal Court of First Instance (Asliye Mahkemesi), and the Heavy Penal Court (Ağır Ceza Mahkemesi).
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