Turkish journalist stands trial for ‘insulting’ president’s son
ISTANBULTurkish journalist Soner Yalçın appeared before court March 3 over allegations of insulting the president’s son Bilal Erdoğan in his book “Lost Registry – Erdoğan’s stolen case.”
Yalçın denied the accusations during the trial in which he faces up to two years and eight months of prison with charges of “insult via press or media outlets.”
Yalçın said he was not referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son Necmettin Bilal Erdoğan when he wrote “Bilal” in his book, adding that there are 106,130 people who are named Bilal in Turkey. He said all these people could have filed suits against him for insulting them if the court accepted the prosecutor’s claims.
“In the mentioned book, it is not the writer’s issue if the complainant had thought it was him [being referred to],” said Yalçın in his defense.
Bilal Erdoğan’s lawyer, however, claimed that the book mentions him without any doubt.
Yalçın was arrested in the Oda TV case and was charged with having links to the alleged terrorist organization Ergenekon in February 2011, along with two other journalists, Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener.
All three journalists have been released from jail.