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Woman detained for insulting Erdoğan in overheard conversation on bus

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An Ankara woman identified only as M.A. was detained after being reported to police for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during a conversation with a friend on the bus.

The Cumhuriyet daily said Friday that M.A. was reported to police by another passenger who had overheard M.A.’s conversation in which she was discussing the 2013 Gezi Park protests and the 2016 failed coup with her friend.

The informant followed M.A. off the bus and had her detained by police at a store in Ankara’s Kızılay district, according to Cumhuriyet.

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Murat Emir said M.A. is a CHP member and added, “[The government] has managed to turn people into informers.”

As of the end of 2016, at least 10,000 people were under investigation on suspicion of terrorist propaganda and insulting senior state officials on social media. A total of 1,080 people were convicted of insulting Erdoğan in 2016, according to data from Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Data also showed that 4,936 cases were launched against people on charges of insult in 2016. (Turkey Purge)

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