RIGHTS > Students face two-year jail sentence for throwing darts at Turkish PM’s photo

SAMSUN - Doğan News Agency

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A local prosecutor has demanded two years in jail for two Samsun university students for allegedly throwing darts at a board covered with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's photo.

Yıldırım Beyazıt Besim and Mert Deniz Özkaya, students at the Black Sea province’s Ondokuz Mayıs University, participated in a protest against new educational reforms last year in August by throwing darts at a dart board featuring Erdoğan’s picture. After the two threw the darts, police forces intervened to prevent others from doing so.
After a probe was launched into the incident, the two were charged with “overt defamation of a public official.”

"No kinds of opposition are tolerated in Turkey," Besim said, adding that their act was a democratic demand, not defamation.

Similar protests have been held in different parts of Turkey, he said.

The students’ first hearing will be held in June.


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mara mcglothin

3/15/2013 3:40:39 PM

ERIC You are spot on. I can call the President or anyone else for that matter by any name I choose, BUT if I should go online and invite people to come with me when I try to kill any of these people, OR wish him dead, then that is a whole other matter.

Eric Martin

3/14/2013 9:32:04 PM

I love Erdogan but this is wrong. In the USA this might happen only if you make death threats.

mara mcglothin

3/14/2013 3:35:28 PM

CEZER You are wrong. "Insult" is not lethal and should never be considered as such! Freedom of speech does in fact give me the option of insulting someone. You also cannot legislate "morality". Your idea of what is polite or moral may not be my own interpretation. You should be able to say what you like, and all the while understand the consequences of your actions. Simple. If you can't stand criticism then you must remove yourself from public office.

The Prisoner

3/14/2013 2:24:38 PM

@Thessalonian, I rather hope that Stephen meant actually at public servants. Cameron, Blair et al have a lot to be blamed for. Supporting this drama queen and his bigoted cabinet.

Agnes Smith

3/14/2013 12:06:36 PM

The local prosecutor up for promotion I wonder And who tipped the police off? They will no doubt get a slap on the back...

Anna Would

3/14/2013 11:29:41 AM

I am so thankful to be a Canadian.

sam stevens

3/14/2013 10:51:31 AM

Brian is right ! We are all laughing like drains at this. The ONLY person hurt here is the diva's ego, what an immature attitude for a grown man to have. He insults others on a daily basis but holds himself above all........I look forward to the day he walks on water, as I'm sure he thinks he can !

Brian Irlanda

3/14/2013 8:24:20 AM

How embarrassing for the people of Turkey that this story will be read all around the world. People will laugh at this.

Laz Kemal

3/14/2013 5:25:22 AM

This is the fault of US government, once again supporting the wrong guy in power. Yes, I blame dumb Bush junior and stupid Obama for this. Thank goodness as a US citizen I don’t have to worry about facing 2 year imprisonment for such descriptions considering if one Googles these terms you’ll have to imprison millions!! That’s the true difference since I don’t live in an Islamist country. Sad future for Turkey.


3/14/2013 1:36:08 AM

Of course, everyone is free to post their comments as long as they don't insult any one's feelings or culture under the name of freedom of speech. If your free speech/ thoughts can insult others then we cannot talk about freedom here. There should always some limits.
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