The Federation of Bar Associations in Turkey criticized the detention of a prominent Turkish journalist after being accused of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying his detention for this reason is “unjustified” after being accused of “insulting the president”, which is punishable from Turkish law under Article 299, it has become a tool to punish critics and opponents of the government, as has emerged in a union statement published in Turkish.
Turkish security authorities have been detaining famous reporter Sedef Kabas Yermebeşoğlu since Friday evening, after the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office ordered an investigation against her against the backdrop of her quoting a popular saying during her participation in a television program. The proverb says: “The bull does not turn in king when he enters the palace, but makes a barn out of the palace! “He is like a Circassian in which the prosecutor found references to the Turkish president, and consequently asked for the arrest of the journalist for insulting Erdogan during his participation in that television program.
A source in the main branch of the Turkish Bar Association told Al Arabiya.net that “the accusation of insulting the president of the republic is now being used to punish anyone who criticizes the government”, which was formed in an alliance between the ruling justice and development party and the right-wing National Movement Party.
The Syndicate is following “closely” the issue of the detention of the famous Turkish journalist, according to the previous source, who also revealed that “some lawyers immediately volunteered to defend her”, a few hours after her “arbitrary” detention. given that her arrest was supposed to have been made after investigations into the matter were conducted. Her statements, but authorities arrested her earlier, which violates the constitution, according to union workers.
The accusation of insulting the President of the Republic is now used to punish anyone who criticizes the government
Turkish Bar Association
The head of more than one section of the Bar Association also refused to make any statements to the press, and one of them told Al-Arabiya briefly.net: “What do we say? Every day the authorities detain journalists and others under the pretext of insulting the president”, considering that “the ruling coalition is hostile to journalists who do not do so with its support”.
Despite the reporter denying that she intends to insult the Turkish president, the authorities continue to detain her so far, an issue that has angered some civil society institutions and the two unions of lawyers and journalists. in Turkey.
The ruling coalition is hostile to journalists who do not support it
The Federation of Bar Association found in a statement that the detention of the 52-year-old journalist is a violation of the laws that protect freedom of expression in the country. His detention also instills “fear and terror” between Turkish society and public opinion workers, according to the text of the union’s statement, but the Turkish president later addressed his detention by saying that “this crime will not go unpunished”, during the televised statements.
The detention of the London-based journalist also received international attention, said US State Department spokesman Ned Price, who said Yermebeşoğlu’s detention was “disappointing”, as he said. The bar is also communicating with international organizations about his detention, with the aim of putting pressure on the Turkish government to force him to release Yeremibesoglu.
Turkish authorities usually resort to punishing their critics, under the pretext of “insulting the president”, according to article 299 of the Turkish penal code, which sentences those convicted of this “crime” to imprisonment from one to four years.
In recent years, the authorities have arrested and interrogated tens of thousands of Turks under the pretext of “insulting” their president, especially after the failed coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which took place in mid-July 2016.
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