Investigation launched against 300 over ‘insulting Erdoğan’

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An investigation was launched against 300 people by the Isparta Police Department on suspicion of “insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan” and “making propaganda of a terrorist organization” on social media.  

The suspects are accused of making propaganda of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists and the so-called the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure (FETÖ/PDY),” which is used by the government-backed judiciary to frame sympathizers of the Gülen movement.

The investigation was launched by cybercrime unit of the department reportedly over claims that PKK and the so-called FETÖ/PDY propaganda was made on social media as well as insulting Turkish flag and the president.

Three hundred people in Turkey and abroad were determined as suspects after nearly 6 months’ search by the police unit. After suspects were determined, summary of proceedings against them were sent to chief public prosecutor’s offices of the provinces where they live.

Police officers from Isparta detained 36 on similar accusations before. Fourteen of the 36 detainees were arrested while 22 of them were released with 12 of them being placed under judicial supervision.

Cases of “insulting” Erdoğan are based on Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which states that anyone convicted of insulting the president should serve a prison term of between one and four years.

More than 1,800 cases have been started against people accused of insulting Erdoğan since he came to office in 2014, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ announced. Those who have gone on trial include celebrities, journalists, activists and even schoolchildren.

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