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Convictions for insulting Turkish president 13 times higher in last 3 years than in previous 7

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The number of people convicted of insulting the president increased 13 times in the first three years of the presidency of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan compared to the previous presidential term, according to the dogrulukpayi.com website.

A total of 12,173 people faced charges of insulting the president between 2014 and 2017. Erdoğan was elected Turkey’s 12th president in 2014 and was reelected last year.

The dogrulukpayi.com website based its report on Justice Ministry data, examining the presidential insult cases between 1986 and 2017 during which a total of 13,889 cases were filed against individuals.

While 233 people were convicted of insulting the president during the tenure of 11th president Abdullah Gül, the figure rose to 3,221, 13 times higher, in the first three years of Erdoğan’s time in office.

Insulting the president calls for a sentence of between one and four years, according to the Turkish Penal Code.

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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