Private security guard arrested on charges of insulting Turkey’s Erdoğan

A private security guard in the northwestern Turkish province of Edirne has been arrested on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on social media, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old security guard, identified only by the initials T.Ö., was detained by police from the Çorlu Police Department in Tekirdağ. He was subsequently arrested by a court after his interrogation at the police station.

It was not clear what messages T.Ö. wrote on his social media accounts that were deemed as an insult to Erdoğan.

Hundreds of people in Turkey, including even high school students, face charges of insulting President Erdoğan. The slightest criticism is considered an insult, and there has been a rise in the number of cases in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the president, the government or government officials.

According to the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) insulting the president carries a sentence of between one and four years.

According to a report by Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on July 21, police teams under the command of the cybercrime unit have determined the existence of 126,000 social media accounts related to alleged terrorist organizations in the last two years.

The report said about 50,000 out of 68,000 profiled social media accounts that allegedly posted pro-coup messages in the wake of a coup bid in July 2016 belong to alleged members of the Gülen movement.

According to the report, 17,000 of the social media accounts are allegedly linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), while a thousand of them are said to be connected to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

It was also claimed that 60 percent of social media posts believed to be supportive of “terrorist organizations” have been made by alleged members of the Gülen movement. The Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has labeled the pacifist Gülen movement as a “terrorist organization,” calling it “FETÖ.” (SCF with turkishminute.com)

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