Cem Şimşek, the news director of the Evrensel Daily, has been sentenced to 11 months, 20 days in prison for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a reported published in 2015.
The Bakırköy 27th penal court of first instance ruled on Thursday that the report titled “Alman karikatüristler Erdoğan’ı fena çizdi” was in violation of the Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).
Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, according to the controversial Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Whoever insults the president can face up to four years in prison, a sentence that can be increased if the crime was committed through the mass media.
13,000 cases have been filed against individuals over the past seven years based on Article 299. The slightest criticism of Erdoğan is often considered an insult, and there has been a rise in the number of cases in Turkey in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the president, the government or government officials.