6,033 people taken to court over allegedly insulting Turkish President Erdoğan in 2017

Turkey's autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan filed criminal complaints against 6,033 people in 2017 over alleged insults of him, with 2,099 of them sentenced by local courts, according to recently announced Turkish judicial statistics.

Prominent Turkish law professor Kerem Altıparmak, who shared the latest judicial statistics on his personal Twitter account on Friday, tweeted: “The unpreventable ascension of the offense of insulting the president [Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 299] continues. As you might recall, the president had withdrawn his complaints on July 15. Despite that, 1,953 insult cases were opened in 2015 and 4,187 in 2016, and complaints filed in 2017 total 6,033.”

He also stated that the number of verdicts in cases related to the alleged insult of President Erdoğan had also increased dramatically, with 238 in 2015, 884 in 2016 and 2,099 in 2017.

According to data shared by Professor Altıparmak, the number of suspended sentences given to those who allegedly insulted President Erdoğan was 1,660 in 2017, while it was 151 in 2015 and 720 in 2016.

“The total number of cases filed on accusations of insulting the Turkish president [TCK 299] was 12,893 between 2010 and 2017, 12,305 of which were filed during Erdoğan’s presidency, between 2014 and 2017,” said Yaman Akdeniz, another prominent Turkish law professor Yaman Akdeniz.

He also stated that the Turkish courts rendered verdicts in 5,150 insult cases filed by President Erdoğan: 2,099 of the defendants have been sentenced, while only 873 of them were acquitted.

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