Turkish author gets 15 months jail for defaming Atatürk
Turkish author was sentenced 15 months in jail in Istanbul on Nov. 1 for insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of the modern Republic of Turkey.
Süleyman Yeşilyurt was accused of insulting one of Atatürk’s adopted children, Afet İnan, during a debate in a television program.
The Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office had launched a probe into the incident and demanded a prison sentence between two to seven years on charges of “inciting people to hatred and hostility” and “defaming Atatürk’s memory.”
Yeşilyurt was arrested in May and was later released by the court pending trial.
The Bakırköy 35th Criminal Court of First Instance on Nov. 1 found Yeşilyurt guilty of “defaming Atatürk’s memory.”
In a separate case, another Turkish court gave a 15-month jail sentence on similar charges to Mustafa Armağan, editor-in-chief of the periodical Derin Tarih (Deep History).
Armağan was convicted of including an article that tarnished the reputation of Atatürk’s wife, Latife Hanım, in the May issue of the periodical.
Atatürk, whose name means “father of the Turks,” was a World War I hero who went on to lead Turkey in the War of Independence before founding the modern state in 1923. He is deeply respected in Turkey, where laws protect his name and memory.