Under arrest for more than 8 months over coup charges, Gökçe Fırat, the leader of the National Party (UP) and a columnist for the Türk Solu weekly magazine was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in jail for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Thursday.
Fırat is accused of using intimidating expressions against Erdogan, in his book titled, “Bloodstained Road to the Presidency.”
The court suspended the penalty underlining that the accused expressed remorse during his hearing.
Firat was arrested on Aug. 31 on charges of attempting to overthrow the constitutional order and membership in an armed terrorist organization called “FETÖ,” an acronym that the Turkish government uses for the Gülen movement. An indictment drafted by the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office seeks two consecutive life sentences for Firat and each of the 12 other journalists.
A military coup attempt on July 15 killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government along with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the movement.