Turkish scribe sentenced to prison for insulting Erdoğan in book on Gezi protests
Graffiti and slogans adorn a wall in Istanbul’s iconic Taksim neighborhood during last year's Gezi Park protests.A Turkish court sentenced a writer to 11 months and 20 days of prison on Sept. 23 on charges of insulting the then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a book on last year’s Gezi protests.
Journalist Erol Özkoray was accused of mentioning slogans, banners or graffiti that involved insults on Erdoğan in his book “Bireyselleşme ve demokrasi: Gezi Fenomeni” (Individualization and Democracy: The Gezi Phenomenon).
The court, however, has postponed the execution of the sentence for five years.
Prosecutors had argued that the slogans or banners that were included in the book could not be considered as being “within the limits of freedom of expression or the press.”
Meanwhile, Erdoğan’s lawyer, Ferah Yıldız, claimed the book was not of “public interest” as it purely aimed to humiliate his client.
The latest sentence shows how legal pressure on those who partook in the Gezi protests still continues. It comes a few weeks after prosecutors demanded life imprisonment for members of the Beşiktaş football club’s supporter group, çArşı, for their involvement in the Gezi protests.
A court case against members of the Taksim Solidarity Platform, which initiated the local protests, is also ongoing amid much controversy.