Lebanese TV host to stand trial in Beirut for insulting Turkish president

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Neshan Der Haroutiounian

An ethnic Armenian Lebanese TV show host is due to stand a trial in October after he insulted Turkey and its leader, who he referred to as “evil,” according to the Middle East Confidential news website.

Nishan Der-Haroutounian came under fire after he made insulting remarks about Turkey and its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, The New Arab reported.

Der-Haroutounian claimed that Erdoğan was “evil and the son of a million evil men.” The show host doubled down, insisting that his remarks were directed at Erdoğan, the Turkish regime, the Ottomans and the Turks.

Der-Haroutounian is expected to appear in court on Oct. 8.

Turkey’s embassy in Beirut “strongly condemns the verbal insults” against the Turkish president and requested the intervention of the Lebanese foreign ministry with the country’s competent authorities to “guarantee the respect of the Turkish President in all Lebanese media,” the National News Agency said.

Ankara also called on the Lebanese foreign minister to take “necessary measures” against the media personality.

Insulting the president is punishable by up to four years in prison in Turkey, where thousands of people, including politicians, journalists and artists, have been charged with insult during Erdoğan’s presidency.

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