Court gives suspended sentence to poet Odabaşı for insulting Erdoğan

Poet and author Yılmaz Odabaşı on Wednesday received a suspended jail sentence of one year, eight months for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a column in 2015. Odabaşı announced the verdict on his Twitter account.

Insulting the president is subject to criminal charges under Turkish law, and President Erdoğan has sued critics, including regular citizens, in unprecedented numbers for allegedly insulting him.

The Ministry of Interior Affairs announced last month that 10,000 people are currently under investigation on suspicion of terrorist propaganda and insulting senior state officials on social media. The ministry also stated that in the last six months 3,710 social media users were investigated, of whom 1,656 were arrested. A total of 1,203 of those investigations resulted in releases on probation.

The ministry further said that cooperation with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and national and international service providers has been carried to the next level. With new state of emergency decrees issued by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government on Jan. 6, police were given the authority to directly access information on the identity of Internet users. (

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