Istanbul, Oct 9 () - Daily newspaper Sözcü’s Necati Doğru has become the latest journalist in Turkey to be found guilty of “insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in jail.
Doğru referred to the punishment in his article published in Sözcü on Oct. 9, writing: “I’ve got nothing to say. Whatever you write it’s an ‘insult.’ Only fake compliments are asked for, but sorry I’m not that type.”
“There weren’t even any insults in my article. It was critical and intended to make readers question” he added in the piece, which was titled “I’ve been given 11 months in jail.”
The plaintiff who filed the case, who Doğru referred to as “Tayyip Erdoğan” filed a criminal complaint by selectively picking words in the article out of context, he added.
Turkey has a notorious record of ongoing cases against journalists, mostly on charges of “defaming the Turkish president,” with media outlets and journalists subjected to physical violence as well as verbal insults and being publicly targeted by leading politicians.
Daily Today’s Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş was released on probation on Oct. 8 after he was sent to court with a demand for his arrest for allegedly insulting Erdoğan on Twitter.
“Media prosecutor Umut Tepe has sent me to court for arrest for insulting the president in my Twitter posts,” Keneş tweeted before the court ruling.
“I will continue to fight for democracy and freedom until the last moment. You will not be able to silence a free souls even if you put them in prison” he also said.