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Veteran actor summoned to testify over tweets allegedly insulting Erdoğan

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Genco Erkal, a veteran Turkish stage actor and director, has been summoned to testify on allegations that he insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in tweets, some dating as far back as 2016, local media reported on Friday.

Erkal is expected to testify to prosecutors at the Çağlayan Courthouse in İstanbul’s Şişli district on April 19.

Thousands of people in Turkey are under investigation, and most of them are under the threat of imprisonment, over alleged insults of President Erdoğan. The insult cases generally stem from social media posts shared by Erdoğan opponents. The Turkish police and judiciary perceive even the most minor criticism of the president or his government as an insult.

Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, according to the controversial Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Whoever insults the president can face up to four years in prison, a sentence that can be increased if the crime was committed through the mass media.

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