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4-year jail term sought for AKUT co-founder over insult charges

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Co-founder and former chairman of Turkey’s prominent Search and Rescue Association (AKUT) Nasuh Mahruki is facing a jail term of one to four years on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

An indictment prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor against Mahruki accuses Mahruki of committing the alleged insult during a TV program last October.

The columnist had made the remarks that led to his prosecution during a TV program on Kanal A on Oct. 5. He said this era would end one day and that the government would be tried for treason.

A lawyer representing Erdoğan subsequently filed a criminal complaint against Mahruki on the grounds that he insulted Erdoğan.

Mahruki was detained in late October and then released on judicial probation.

Mahruki recently attracted public attention when he said the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has been pressuring AKUT and obstructing its work due to his views critical of the government. Mahruki is also a columnist for the critical Sözcü daily.

He announced his resignation as AKUT chairman in November in the wake of heavy government pressure on himself and AKUT.

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