Turkey: a journalist was arrested “for insulting President Erdogan”

Archive photo of Turkish journalist Sedef Kabas

Turkish journalist Sedef Kabas was arrested this Saturday accused of having insulted the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for having used a Circassian proverb during a political gathering that says that “when cattle enter the Palace they do not become king, but the Palace becomes a stable”.

Kabas’ lawyer confirmed on social media the arrest and filing of charges against the journalist.

Kabas is in Istanbul’s Bakirkoy jail, explained his lawyer, Ugur Poyraz, in telephone statements in which he indicated that he will file an appeal on Monday against this “illegal” detention. “We hope that Turkey can soon return to the rule of law,” Poyraz added.

The arrest was requested this Saturday by the Prosecutor’s Office, after the words of the journalist, a famous interviewer, provoked a campaign of attacks against her on social networks and pro-government media.

During that gathering on Friday in a program of the chain TV 1, in which he criticized the Government for the repression of dissidence and for promoting the polarization of society, the journalist used another saying, without expressly mentioning Erdogan’s name or his position, which says: “a crowned head will be wiser.”

“But we see that it is not true,” said the journalist, in what the Prosecutor’s Office has interpreted as an attack on the head of state.

Archive photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on January 13, 2022 (REUTERS)
Archive photo of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on January 13, 2022 (REUTERS) (PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE/)

Even before the arrest, the Minister of Justice, Abdulhamit Gul, had condemned the “ugly words that target the president” and warned that these “expressions of hate They will find the answer before the Justice”.

The official news agency Anatolian, has quoted several ministers and Erdogan’s spokesman Fahrettin Altun as criticizing Kabas for being “immoral” and “irresponsible.”

In recent years, numerous citizens have been sentenced for insulting the president, sometimes even simply for having spread texts from others on social networks that did not even mention Erdogan’s name.

Insulting the president of Turkey is typified and is expected sentences of between eight months and four years in prison.

With information from EFE and EuropaPress

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