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7,600 investigated for insulting Turkish president in 2022

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Turkish prosecutors launched 7,600 investigations into individuals on allegations of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2022, the Stockholm Center for Freedom reported, citing Birgün daily.

A total of 1,872 people have been convicted of the crime of insulting the president, Birgün said.

According to data from the Justice Ministry, Erdoğan brought legal action on insult charges against 44,675 people between 2014, when he was first elected president, and September 2022.

Only 1,716 insult cases were filed by the five presidents who preceded him.

Turkish prosecutors initiated investigations into 848 people for insulting 11th president Abdullah Gül and 207 for insulting eighth president Turgut Özal.

The Turkish police and judiciary have perceived even the most minor criticism of the president or his government as an insult in the last decade.

Thousands of people in Turkey are currently under investigation, and most of them are under the threat of imprisonment over alleged insults of Erdoğan.

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.

The insult cases generally stem from social media posts shared by Erdoğan opponents.

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