Turkish court orders conditional release of jailed cartoonist
A Turkish court on June 5 ordered the conditional release of Nuri Kurtcebe, one of Turkey’s most prominent cartoonists, a day after he was jailed to serve a 14-month sentence for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Ahmet Erdem Akyüz, the lawyer of the 69-year-old cartoonist, said a court sentenced Kurtcebe to jail time of one year, two months, and 15 days over his drawings of Erdoğan in 2015.
An appeal against the sentence to a higher court had been rejected and an arrest warrant had been issued for him, Akyüz said.
Kurtcebe was arrested at a checkpoint by gendarmerie forces in the northwestern province of Yalova. He was sent to prison after formal procedures at local police headquarters on June 4.
Akyüz told Turkish media that a tribunal ruled June 5 evening that the cartoonist should be released on probation. "My client Nuri Kurtcebe will resume his work, his drawings and his cartoons after having been deprived of his pencils and ink for two days," Akyüz was quoted as saying by Doğan news agency.
Kutcebe is only the latest artist in Turkey jailed for “insulting” the president in recent months. In April, folk singer Suavi was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison on the same charges, though the sentence was later converted into a fine of 14,000 Turkish Liras ($3,415).
In March, singer and actress Zuhal Olcay was also sentenced to 10 months in jail for “insulting” Erdoğan.