Turkish Journalist Jailed For Insulting President

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Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara June 25, 2013. Turkish anti-terrorism police detained 20 people in raids in the capital Ankara on Tuesday in connection with weeks of anti-government protests across the country, media reports said. The unrest began at the end of May when police used force against campaigners opposed to plans to redevelop a central Istanbul park. The protest spiralled into broader demonstrations against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his government. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY – Tags: POLITICS) – RTX1102A

A well-known Turkish journalist has been sentenced two years imprisonment for publicly quoting saying about an ox in a palace.

The  comment was taken to be a reference to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his lavish seat of power.

An Istanbul court was said to have found Sedef Kabas guilty of presidential insult and handed down a prison sentence of two years and four months, the MLSA lawyers’ association announced on Friday.

Following the decision, however, Kabas was released from pretrial detention.

In January, the journalist had denounced, among other things, the Turkish government’s harsh treatment of critics in a television programme.

There and later on Twitter, she quoted a proverb: “When an ox goes to a palace, it doesn’t become a king, but the palace becomes a stable.’’

She did not explicitly mention Erdogan or his presidential palace in Ankara.

According to the lawyers’ association, Kabas said in the courtroom that she had not insulted the president, but that she had the right to criticise the government.

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