In 2019, 36,000 folks have been investigated judicially for, allegedly, having disrespected the Turkish head of state
Earlier than the president got here to energy, the whole variety of folks convicted of this crime was 44
The 2 circumstances have been chained: to the lawyer Ozgur Urfa, specialist in Human rights, they’d commissioned the protection in a trial in opposition to a Turkish citizen whom the State had indicted for “insult the president“. Urfa wrote his protection transient and after a couple of days obtained the notification. This time, it had his identify: the Turkish prosecution I additionally denounced him.
The accusation was the identical as that of his shopper: insults to the president. “We have been each convicted. I obtained 10 months in jail, and now, the case is within the courtroom of enchantment, with the instruction nonetheless open. However after all, any such intervention in opposition to legal professionals in our nation isn’t one thing that’s unique to this case. Tons of of legal professionals are being tried by their skilled actions. Some are in jail“, explains Urfa.
Particularly, the variety of folks convicted of “insults to the Turkish president” from 2015 to 2019 – the final yr for which knowledge can be found – was 21,378.
The yr 2015 was essential. Till that date, the whole variety of folks convicted of this crime for the reason that creation of the Republic of Turkey in 1923 it was 44. After 2015, the primary yr during which Recep Tayyip Erdogan acceded to the presidency -between 2003 and 2014 he was prime minister-, the quantity has steadily elevated: in 2015, 238 folks have been convicted; 884 in 2016; 2,099 in 2017 – the yr after Coup try-; 2,462 in 2018; and 3,831 in 2019.
This sentence can result in as much as 4 years in jail.
The info is from Turkish Ministry of Justice, which explains that within the final 5 years, they’ve been 128,868 folks investigated for, supposedly, having dedicated this crime; 36,000 of them in 2019.
All these circumstances have turn out to be the norm: “The prosecutors They’ve gone on to behave by caring about what may occur to them if, when a report is handed to them, they don’t report. AND the judges the identical: they’re afraid that there can be repercussions on them if they don’t punish the defendants, “Urfa explains.
The lawyer continues: “That justice now acts for political motives and never on authorized grounds it has sadly turn out to be one thing recognized to all residents. There isn’t a rationalization in any proper space, particularly within the criminology, that may clarify that the quantity of people that insult the president multiply by 15 within the final 5 years. The one rationalization for this phenomenon is political. “
Skinny pores and skin
And the reason, for Erdogan’s detractors, is that the Turkish president and his authorities search finish any criticism, wherever it comes from. “On the one hand, the Erdogan Govt has taken management of the media and has detained dozens of journalists to ensure there is no such thing as a media protection criticism of his errors, he says Aykan Erdemir, former Turkish opposition MP and director of Turkey’s program inside the US assume tank FDD-. And then again, [el Gobierno turco] has been devoted to criminalize all criticism in opposition to Erdogan in gentle of a rising disaffection ratio in opposition to him. The irony in all that is that this authoritarian coverage, which goals to scale back dissenting voices, has made Erdogan, no less than in response to Turkish judicial recordsdata, essentially the most insulted president within the historical past of Turkey. “
“If Erdogan and his prosecutors assume that these people have genuinely insulted the Turkish president figuring out the authorized penalties of doing so, they need to make a hindsight train to attempt to perceive why, in response to courtroom information, the residents of Turkey, who had not often insulted earlier presidents earlier than, have all of the sudden began to insult Erdogan“, cube Erdemir.
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And one of many primary answerable for the big improve has been the social networks and the exhaustive management that the Turkish Authorities makes of them. Just a few months in the past, Parliament handed a regulation that, in response to worldwide human rights organizations, is meant to management what’s commented in them much more.
The consequence, in response to Urfa, would be the identical as to this point: “A warrant for anybody talking, singing, tweeting, sharing, or writing negatively in regards to the president on-line. In opposition to them, investigations are initiated that find yourself making a local weather of concern“.