Former TRT cameraman given suspended sentence on Erdoğan insult charges

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Cameraman Binali Erdoğan

Binali Erdoğan, a cameraman who used to work for the state-run Turkish Radio and Television (TRT), has been given a suspended jail sentence of 10 months on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on social media, Turkish media reports said on Tuesday.

The cameraman was fired by the TRT due to his messages critical of President Erdoğan and was put in pre-trial detention on Oct. 20, 2017 in İzmir on insult charges. He was released 32 days later pending trial.

The TRT launched a criminal complaint against cameraman Erdoğan on charges of insulting the president.

The İzmir 25thPenal Court of First Instance concluded Erdoğan’s trial on Tuesday and handed down a suspended jail sentence of 10 months.

The cameraman said in his defense that he had no intention of insulting the president and that his views should be taken within the scope of freedom of expression.

Hundreds of people in Turkey, even including high school students, face charges of insulting President Erdoğan. 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.

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