21-year-old university student arrested for ‘insulting Atatürk’ in Turkey’s Edirne
EDİRNE – Demirören News Agency
Emine Şahin, 21, was detained in the northwestern province of Edirne during a ceremony commemorating the 80th death anniversary of Atatürk when she reportedly started yelling “Atatürk is not divine, Allah has laws. Atatürk brought the West’s laws,” as she was passing by the area where the ceremony was held.
The police deployed for the ceremony’s security took Şahin away from the area before detaining her.
During her testimony, the woman told officials that it was “against religion” to commemorate Atatürk this way and said she had come to the ceremony area on purpose. Şahin spent the night at the police station and, following her testimony at the prosecutor’s office in an Edirne courthouse, was sent to prison after a court order on Nov. 11.
In a statement on the woman’s arrest the Edirne Chief Prosecutor’s Office said that Şahin started to yell “Why are you waiting here, what is happening here?” as a minute’s silence was being observed for Atatürk at the ceremony area.
“As she was being removed from the area by police forces, she uttered the remarks ‘This is an insurgence, you do not know the laws of Allah, he [Atatürk] brought the beliefs of the West,’ for which an investigation was launched into on charges of insulting the memory of Atatürk,” the statement added.
Turkish Law 5816, called “The Law Concerning Crimes Committed Against Atatürk,” protects “the memory of Atatürk” from being insulted by any Turkish citizen. An offense against the memory of Atatürk is punishable by up to three years in jail.