Istanbul court sets historian free following arrest for ‘insulting’ Atatürk
ISTANBULAn Istanbul court ordered on June 1 the release of a historian who was arrested on May 12 for “insulting” Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
An investigation was launched into 68-year-old Süleyman Yeşilyurt by the Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, after the historian claimed on May 6 on a TV show called “Derin Tarih” (Deep History) that one of Atatürk’s foster children, Afet İnan, was actually his illegitimate wife.
On May 17, the prosecutor’s office filed an indictment against the historian on charges of “insulting the memory of Atatürk” and “inciting people to hatred and hostility,” seeking between 2.5 and 7.5 years of jail time.
Yeşilyurt reportedly said during a hearing on June 1 at the Bakırköy 35th Penal Court of First Instance that he did not utter his statements on the show for the purpose of “insulting” Atatürk. “If I have been misunderstood, I am sorry,” he said.
The court released Yeşilyurt taking into account the time he had already spent in jail as well as due to his defense at the hearing.