A veteran Turkish journalist was arrested on Friday for provoking public hatred and enmity with a tweet mocking the government’s national pandemic relief campaign.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched a national donation campaign on March 31 to assist vulnerable people suffering due to coronavirus measures taken by the country.
Simultaneously, the International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs) of donation bank accounts were posted on social media, where dissidents mocked the IBAN numbers with puns.
“Ey IBAN edenler!” journalist Hakan Aygün tweeted on the same day, changing the word “iman” (faith) to IBAN, referring to the famous line in mosque sermons, “Oh those believers!”
The court considered the tweet an insult to Muslim values under Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code.
Aygün said in his defense that he did not post the tweet but merely retweeted it.