One of the co-founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Abdüllatif Şener, has been indicted on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in his Twitter messages.
Şener, who was among the group of politicians that founded the AKP along with Erdoğan in 2001, served as finance minister, state minister and deputy prime minister in the initial years of the AKP government. He did not run for Parliament in the 2007 general election and resigned from the AKP on July 11, 2008.
One of Erdoğan’s lawyers, Ahmet Özel, filed a complaint against Şener claiming that there is insult against the president in Şener’s tweets, a claim denied by the politician who frequently criticizes the AKP and Erdoğan in his messages.
The indictment seeks a jail sentence of up to 54 months for Şener.
Hundreds of people in Turkey including high school students face charges of insulting President Erdoğan. Even the slightest criticism is considered insult, and there has been a rise in the number of cases in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the president, the government or government officials.