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8 union members receive suspended sentences for insulting Erdoğan

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A court in Zonguldak has sentenced eight members of the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) to suspended jail terms of up to one year, 11 months for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Cumhuriyet reported.

According to the report, eight of nine KESK members received suspended jail terms of between 11 months, 20 days and one year, 11 months, while one was acquitted in the case all stood accused in of insulting Erdoğan during a press statement in Zonguldak on Oct. 10, 2015.

On Feb. 20, Samet Sarı, a university student and member of the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) youth branch, was arrested on charges of insulting President Erdoğan.

Suay Karaman, an academic at the Ankara-based Gazi University and the general secretary of the Association of Academic Staff (TÜMÖD), was sentenced on Feb. 3 to 11 months, 20 days in prison for allegedly insulting Erdoğan.

Scores of people in Turkey have been detained, arrested or are under investigation on allegations of insulting Erdoğan.

As of end of 2016, at least 10,000 people were under investigation on suspicion of terrorist propaganda and insulting senior state officials on social media.

According to figures released by the Ministry of Interior Affairs in December, 3,710 social media users had been investigated in the last six months of 2016, of whom 1,656 were arrested. A total of 1,203 of those investigations resulted in releases on probation.

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