Writer charged with insulting Turkish prime minister acquitted
Writer Emrah Serbes has been acquitted on charges of insulting the prime minister. Hürriyet PhotoWriter Emrah Serbes has been acquitted on charges of insulting the prime minister by using the pun “Recop Tazyik Gazdoğan.”
An Istanbul court cleared Serbes from the charge of “insulting civil servants,” for which imprisonment of 10 months to 12 years was demanded.
The writer had made a pun in a TV show by changing the prime minister’s name from “Recep” to “Recop” referring to police batons, and his middle name “Tayyip” to “Tazyik,” a word meaning pressurized water in Turkish, in reference to the police’s excessive use of water cannons and tear gas against protesters in this year’s May Day clashes.
Serbes, who is best-known for his literary work, Behzat Ç, depicting an anti-hero homicide detective in Ankara, had defended himself in the trial by saying there was no intention to insult with his words, “which were only aimed at irony.”
Hundreds were injured in clashes between police and protesters during the May Day celebrations, which were inflamed by a ban on entering the symbolic Taksim Square.
A total of 14 tons of water mixed with tear gas was used during the police crackdown on demonstrators on the day.