President Erdoğan joins Quran defamation case as plaintiff
ISTANBULTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become involved as a plaintiff in a case filed against a woman who allegedly “insulted the Quran” by posting a photo on Twitter showing her foot standing on the Muslim holy book.
The defendant faces up to four years in prison.
With Erdoğan’s involvement in the case there are now 22 plaintiffs, including Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek and former minister Egemen Bağış, who was one of the most prominent names embroiled in Turkey’s huge corruption probe launched in late 2013.
The woman did not attend the first court hearing in the case, which was held in Istanbul’s 58th Criminal Court of First Instance on June 17.
The indictment against the woman, prepared by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office, carried a penalty of up to four years in prison on charges of “incitement to hatred and enmity.”
President Erdoğan’s attorney, Ferah Yıldız, said the charge against the woman was clear and they demanded that she be punished.
“My client [Erdoğan] has been harmed by the crime,” Yıldız added.
The attorneys of other plaintiffs, including Bağış and Gökçek, also said their clients had been harmed by the crime.
The indictment said the defendant was required to serve from 1.5 to 4 years in prison for “inciting society to hatred and enmity by insulting Islam, the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad.”
The woman, who is being tried without arrest, will be brought to court by force for the next hearing due to her absence in the first hearing.