Sunday 23 October 2016

Former Miss Turkey convicted of insulting Erdogan

Ece Toksabay in Ankara

Published 01/06/2016 | 02:30

Former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac
Former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac

A FORMER Miss Turkey was handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence yesterday for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a poem she shared on Instagram, the latest of at least a dozen Turks to face such a sentence.

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An Istanbul court found model Merve Buyuksarac (27) guilty of insulting a public official but suspended the sentence on condition that she does not repeat the act for the next five years, according to local media.

Insulting the president is a crime punishable by up to four years in jail in Turkey.

The law was used infrequently until Erdogan won the presidency in August 2014.

Since then, prosecutors have opened more than 1,800 cases against people they allege have insulted Erdogan, including cartoonists, journalists and teenagers.

Prosecutors are also pursuing a case against a German comedian who mocked President Erdogan on German television.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Ms Buyuksarac, who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2006, was briefly detained last year for sharing the poem on Instagram in 2014.

It was called 'The Master's Poem' and referred to a high-level Turkish corruption scandal in 2014.

Irish Independent

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