Hürriyet editor-in-chief faces five years in prison for ‘insulting president’
A lawsuit has been opened against Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin with a demand that the journalist serve five years in prison for “insulting president” due to a report in the daily.
The indictment from prosecutor İdris Kurt said Hürriyet insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by paraphrasing his Sept. 6 remarks about an attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Dağlıca on the Iraqi border that killed 16 Turkish soldiers.
The prosecutor demanded up to five years and four months in jail for Ergin. The journalist’s file has been merged with a lawsuit opened into daily Zaman’s former editor-in-chief, Ekrem Dumanlı, on the same charges over the newspaper’s reporting about the same speech by Erdoğan.
The indictment said Hürriyet and Zaman published “unreal, offending, and ill-intentioned” reports over Erdoğan’s remarks about the Dağlıca incident.
The indictment also said the reports should not be regarded within the right to freedom of speech.
Late on Sept. 7, Hürriyet’s Istanbul headquarters was attacked by more than 150 pro-government protesters.
The group attacked security personnel at the outer gate of Hürriyet’s office in the city’s Bağcılar district before forcing their way to the door, which they pelted with stones.
Protesters, who chanted pro-government slogans, retreated when a police unit arrived at the scene.