Man who took down Turkish flag jailed for 13 years
ANKARA – Anadolu AgencyA Turkish man has been sentenced to 13 years and nine months in prison after taking down a Turkish flag during a protest in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 2014.
A high court in Diyarbakır sentenced the man, identified only by the initials Ö.M., to six years and three months in jail for “committing a crime in the name of an armed terrorist organization,” to three years and one month for “insulting the symbols of the state’s sovereignty,” to two years and six months for “entering a forbidden military zone,” to one year and three months for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization by covering his face,” and to seven months and 15 days for “opposing the meeting and rally law.”
Ö.M. denied being a member of a terrorist organization in one of the hearings in his case in February.
“This flag is our flag. It is a flag made of the blood of our martyrs. I just lost myself at that moment. I did what I did without realizing it,” he said.
Outrage was sparked across Turkey when photos emerged of Ö.M. bringing down a flag inside a military post in Diyarbakır during a demonstration against the killing of two people during clashes with the armed forces on June 7, 2014. He was later arrested by the Diyarbakır Police Department.