13-year-old boy testifies for ‘insulting’ Erdoğan on Facebook
AYVALIKA 13-year-old student in western Turkey has testified on suspicion that he “insulted” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Facebook.
On Feb. 27, a prosecutor in the Ayvalık district of the Balıkesir province summoned the 7th-grader, identified by the initials U.R.E., over a message he shared on Facebook in May 2014, according to a report by Doğan News Agency. The father met the police at his son’s school, from where then they all went to Ayvalık State Hospital and received a medical report. The child then testified to the prosecutor at the courthouse in Ayvalık over his Facebook message.
The prosecutor will decide whether he will file a criminal case or not after a more thorough psychological assessment of the child is prepared by the hospital.
Stating that the criminal complaint against his son was filed by the General Security Directorate of the southeastern province of Gaziantep, the boy’s father accused the authorities of harming the child’s psychology by taking him to the prosecutor’s office with policemen.
“I have not seen what he wrote or shared. But our prosecutors and police should be more interested in dealing with those who push our country to the edge of division, and with those who rob the country with shoeboxes,” the father added, referring to money found in shoeboxes during a major corruption operation in Dec. 2013.
Police had seized $4.5 million in cash in shoeboxes during the bribery raid in the house of Süleyman Aslan, the general manager of the state-run lender Halkbank. A number of people have been detained by police for brandishing shoeboxes while protesting Erdoğan.
The corruption cases were eventually quashed first by prosecutors and then in parliament with the votes of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Citing Turkey’s defamation laws, Erdoğan has filed criminal complaints citing “insult” against more than 60 people in the country since he was elected to office in August 2014. Besides journalists, students have also increasingly become the target of prosecutors.
Teenage schoolboy Mehmet Emin Altunses will go on trial on March 6 on charges of insulting the president in a speech in the conservative Anatolian city of Konya.
Four young people were recently arrested on different charges of insulting the Turkish strongman during street protests this month.