Wednesday, June 07, 2023
Turkish authorities have reportedly arrested and jailed a 16-year-old teenager for defacing an election campaign poster featuring President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
According to media reports from various opposition-affiliated outlets, including BirGun, Cumhuriyet, and Halk TV, the youth, who resides in the southeastern town of Mersin, allegedly added a Hitler-style moustache to the poster near his home, accompanied by derogatory comments.
The arrest took place after the teenager was identified through CCTV footage. Following his apprehension, authorities interrogated him at his residence. While he admitted to drawing the moustache, he denied writing the insulting remarks. Nevertheless, after being brought before the public prosecutor, he was charged with "insulting the president" and subsequently sent to a nearby youth detention facility, as reported by Halk TV.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently secured another five-year term in the presidential election held on May 28, further extending his 20-year rule over Turkey. The country's justice ministry has stated that "insulting the president" is one of the most prevalent offences in Turkey, with 16,753 convictions recorded last year.
It is worth noting that drawing attention to cases like this sheds light on the limitations on freedom of expression in Turkey, where criticising or mocking public figures can result in legal consequences. The incident involving the teenager adds to the ongoing discussions about the state of civil liberties in the country and the restrictions placed on dissenting voices.