Scholar sentenced to 10 months of prison over insult to PM on Twitter
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Önder Aytaç faces 10 months of prison for 'insulting' Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, pending possible appeals. AA PhotoScholar and columnist Önder Aytaç was sentenced on April 28 to 10 months of prison for insulting Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a Twitter message posted in September 2012.
The Ankara court overseeing the trial rejected turning the conviction into a fine due to a previous sentence handed to Aytaç from a similar charge, but conditionally postponed it for a year.
During the hearing, Erdoğan was represented by his lawyer Ali Özkaya.
Aytaç had also been recently detained briefly over his comments before a recording of top security officials discussing possible military action in Syria was leaked onto the Internet last month.
Appearing as a guest on the private broadcaster Samanyolu, affiliated to the media network of the U.S. based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen’s movement, Aytaç had claimed that the government would invade Syria to reclaim the Süleyman Shah tomb – a small patch of Turkish land inside of Syrian territory, near Aleppo – from jihadist troops.
Aytaç was detained after he went to the police station over the “impression” that he had knowledge of the Syria meeting leak beforehand.