Two intoxicated men arrested for defaming president in Turkey's west
İZMİR – Doğan News Agency
DHA photoTwo inebriated men have been arrested on allegations that they insulted and cursed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the Aegean province of İzmir.
Y.T., 32, and O.Ö., 27, were arrested by a local court on charges of “defaming the president” as the two, who were intoxicated at the time, were accused of openly cursing Erdoğan.
After sitting by the seashore in İzmir’s Alsancak district and imbibing alcoholic beverages late July 4, the two suspects started heading home when they came across a group of fans of a sports team. The two responded to the groups’ cheering with words that allegedly contained insults and curse words at the Turkish president.
A man recorded the words on his phone and informed the police, presenting the footage as evidence.
Police took the suspects to a police station, took their statements and released them afterwards.
A prosecutor ordered the police to detain and bring the two suspects to the courthouse. Upon the order, police detained Y.T. and O.Ö. and sent them to the 7th Criminal Court of Peace for arrest.
In his testimony before the judge, Y.T. denied the allegations.
“I drank that night at Alsancak with my friend O.Ö. We were very drunk. Then we decided to go home.
Cheering was being made about teams. We also joined the cheering with the effect of the alcohol. I do not remember insulting the president,” Y.T. said.
O.Ö. also did not accept the charges pressed against him, stating they had cheered the same chants the fan group was cheering and added that he did not insult or curse at anyone.
Judge Ümit Özmen ordered the arrest of the two suspects for committing the crime of “insulting the president” on the grounds that there was an expert report, footage and strong indications that they had committed the alleged crime.
Suspects’ attorney said they would object to the arrests.
Several people have been prosecuted for describing Erdoğan as either a “thief” or a “murderer” since he became president in August 2014.