Four students from the Ankara-based Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) who were arrested in July on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were released from jail on Friday.
During an ODTÜ graduation ceremony on July 6 a group of students carried a placard bearing a caricature that was first published in 2006 by the Penguen political satire magazine, called “Tayyipler Âlemi” (World of Tayyips).
Three students who held the placard during the ceremony and one who helped them bring it to the venue in her car were arrested by a court on July 11. The students were facing a jail sentence of from one to four years on insult charges.
ODTÜ’s graduation ceremonies for years have had a tradition of humorous and critical placards about current political developments in Turkey.
Then-Prime Minister Erdoğan filed a lawsuit against the Penguen magazine; however, an Ankara court dismissed the suit, citing freedom of expression.