POLITICS > Teacher sentenced to prison for likening Turkish PM to Hitler


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A military school teacher was sentenced to one year in prison for likening Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Germany's Adolf Hitler, Anatolia news agency reported.
The court found Oktay Zaif, who allegedly showed footage of speeches by Hitler and Erdoğan during class hours, guilty of "politically aiming to distance military students from Prime Minister Erdoğan and his party."
The court further stated that the "political aim" behind the move was "constant."
Zaif, however, claimed he was unaware of the content of the video, and turned it off when he heard the prime minister's voice.
"I downloaded the video from the Internet because it was related to the World War II," Zaif said. "I discovered the content on the prime minister after it began playing. I turned it off then."
The sentence, originally set at one year and three months, was reduced to one year and 15 days when the suspect showed remorse in the courtroom, Anatolia news agency reported.


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lara ulusoy

9/6/2012 9:03:52 PM

One tiny comment, irrelevant to the political aspect, how does a teacher present a video to students without going through it first? The common practice is that all studying material is prepared and planned in advance by the teacher beforehand. It is usually part of the annual lesson plans schedule. I think it most probably was intententionally done. Mara Mcglothin I agree with you 100%.

shmack shmack

9/6/2012 5:34:20 PM

Amazing how many experts there suddenly are on this thread! Ever tried to question even the smallest detail about the Holocaust anywhere in the oh-so civilised and advanced Europe? Please give it a try and you shall find yourself in prison pretty rapido. I haven't seen anyone cry "freedom of speech" on these occasions - bigotry at its best. Game over.

Spyros Savvas

9/6/2012 4:25:54 PM

guilty of "politically aiming to distance military students from Prime Minister Erdoğan and his party."...!!! Do you have a law about this...???!!!

Nikos T.

9/6/2012 10:44:25 AM

Turkey's politicians are exactly like it's people. So, they don't deserve freedom of speech. They just want to be guided.

Ismail Hijazi

9/5/2012 11:34:39 PM

This is not criticism it is an insult. No one has the right to insult others. Moreover, this teacher is using his position as an authority figure -teacher- to influence the minds of the students to his own personal political stance. If he objectively discussed the policies and actions of Mr. Erdogan and criticized what he believes to be wrong in his opinion, no one will object to that and he would be exercising his role as an educator. But what he did is I'll intentioned personal insult no more

mara mcglothin

9/5/2012 10:43:22 PM

SINAN OSMAN Everyday in the USA Obama is portrayed as a donkey with huge ears, and GBush was always portrayed as the village idiot by man newspapers and everyone made fun of the way he said "Nucular" instead of Nuclear! Even his wife made a comment that she could pronounce it correctly. You can't survive in this World with such sensibilites. The PM needs to grow a thicker skin. There should be no punishment involved in this kind of thing at all. Spot on SID SOLO


9/5/2012 9:16:01 PM

His holiness?

sam stevens

9/5/2012 9:07:10 PM

Freedom of speech...Turkish style !!!!

jeff sauve

9/5/2012 6:53:52 PM

prison for comparing a PM to Hitler....poor taste, sure. A crime, only for a government that excercises the same sort of censorship and demonstrates again and again how insecure it is....sending students who demonstrate, disrupting the PM, for free or affordable education, teachers for criticism of that very government....Ataturk's enemies had a way of disappearing in the 1920's, now its better with government and army officials thrown only in prison for years on end without charge...


9/5/2012 6:19:29 PM

I think that in a true democracy people should be put in prison if they are a threat to people; threats to the ruling party are normally called the opposition, or political activists and in this case the man may have made a mistake or been a radical – normal result he gets fired. But here not only has his life been broken, his family have to suffer as well. Justice or revenge – you decide.
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