14-year-old detained in SE Turkey on Erdoğan insult charges

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A 14-year-old boy in the southeastern Turkish province of Hakkari has been detained on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on social media, according to the Mezopotamya news agency.

The boy was taken into custody in the Şemdinli district of Hakkari as part of an investigation conducted by a prosecutor’s office in Isparta.

The child was taken to the provincial capital for bone X-rays to confirm his actual age.

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 Erdoğan 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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