15 more detained for allegedly insulting Turkey’s autocratic President Erdoğan

Fourteen people in İzmir and the chief editor of the Redaktif website, Hakan Gülseven, in Balıkesir were detained on Friday morning on grounds of insulting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Fourteen social media users, including Onur Kılıç, a member of the central executive board of Turkey’s left-wing Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) and an active member of June Movement (Haziran Hareketi), have been accused of disseminating propaganda for an organization and insulting the president.

Kılıç’s lawyers have stated that the prosecutor office has extended the detention period to one week by giving reference to the ongoing state of emergency in force in Turkey

In a statement released following detention of Kılıç and 14 others, ÖDP demanded Kılıç and others to be freed. ‘It’s been understood that the prosecutors of this country are using up all of their working hours to chase after those who criticize the chair of AKP, Erdoğan. The judiciary in Turkey has been turned into a machine working just to declare all people not in support of AKP as terrorists’, the statement said.

Journalist Hakan Gülseven, who was previously detained three days after a referendum on April 16 on charges of insulting state authorities, was released on judicial probation. Gülseven has now been detained a second time in the Ayvalık district of Balıkesir province.

Meanwhile, a motion has been filed against pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) Co-chairperson Selahattin Demirtaş for insulting President Erdoğan. Demirtaş, who has been jailed since November 2016, has been accused of insulting Erdoğan and openly provoking people to commit crimes.

A press statement made by Demirtaş after a controversial appointment of trustee to the Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality has been made the subject of the accusations. The motion has been sent to the Ministry of Justice to be presented to a committee with a demand for the removal of his parliamentary immunity. In the event his immunity is removed, a criminal case will be launched against Demirtaş with a demand for imprisonment of between 1 year, 10 months and 10 years, 4 months.

Scores of people in Turkey have been detained or arrested or are under investigation on allegations of insulting Erdoğan. As of the end of 2016, at least 10,000 people were under investigation on suspicion of terrorist propaganda and insulting senior state officials on social media.

A total of 1,080 people were convicted of insulting Erdoğan in 2016, according to data from Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Data also showed that 4,936 cases were launched against people on charges of insult in 2016. (SCF with turkishminute.com) June 30, 2017

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