Turkish Teacher Sent to Jail for Insulting President Erdogan

The female teacher, who pleaded not guilty, will serve almost a year in jail for making a rude gesture at Erdogan at a political rally in 2014.

Ece Toksabay
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Nov. 26, 2015.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Nov. 26, 2015. Credit: AP
Ece Toksabay

REUTERS - A Turkish court on Wednesday sentenced a female teacher to almost a year in prison for making a rude gesture at President Tayyip Erdogan at a political rally in 2014, local media reports said on Wednesday.

Insulting public officials is a crime in Turkey, and Erdogan, the country's most popular but most divisive politician, is seen by his critics as intolerant of dissent and quick to take legal action over perceived slurs.

After a rally in the Aegean city of Izmir in 2014 when he was prime minister, Erdogan lashed out at the female teacher and said she made a gesture at him that typified the rudeness of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

"Today as I was arriving (there was) a woman on a balcony," he said. "She made such an ugly gesture with her hand. There you go, that is the CHP. I mean the country's prime minister is passing by and you make that gesture with your hand and arm."

The teacher, who pleaded not guilty at the hearing, will serve eleven months and twenty days in jail, the Dogan news agency said.

Earlier this week, lawyers for Erdogan filed a lawsuit against the main opposition leader for saying that Erdogan was a dictator, presidential sources and the opposition party said.

Last week he urged prosecutors to investigate scores of academics for signing a declaration criticizing military action in the mainly Kurdish southeast of Turkey.

Last Friday Turkish security forces briefly detained 27 academics accused of terrorist propaganda. Erdogan denounced the more than 1,000 signatories of the petition, who include U.S. academic Noam Chomsky, as "dark, nefarious and brutal".

Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for more than a decade, first as prime minister and since 2014 as its first popularly elected president, has sued a number of people in the past, including cartoonists, teenagers and a former Miss Turkey winner.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, this month.

Lapid to Haaretz: ‘I Have Learned to Respect the Left’

“Dubi,” whose full name is secret in keeping with instructions from the Mossad.

The Mossad’s Fateful 48 Hours Before the Yom Kippur War

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer