Journalist Ismail Küçükkaya and lawyer Fidel Okan were sentenced to 1 year 4 months and 20 days in jail each for implying that the family issues minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya’s husband had used the controversial mobile app, ByLock.
An Istanbul prosecutor earlier launched investigation against Küçükkaya and Okan for their ByLock accusations against the minister’s husband. In their Twitter posts, Küçükkaya and Okan said that Kaya divorced her spouse after she found out that he had downloaded the ByLock app.
The pair were sentenced on the grounds of “publicly insulting a civil servant” and of “defamation against the government.” media said on Thursday.
The court suspended the imprisonment.
To the government, ByLock is a communication tool among followers of the Gülen movement, accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of leading the July 15, 2016 failed coup. Thousands of people including Taner Kilic, the chairman of Amnesty International’s Turkey branch have been arrested over ByLock use so far.
Denying the claims of divorcing her husband over ByLock use, Minister Kaya tweeted that “the allegations of some media organs about my husband and I are completely false. I am taking legal action against this smear campaign.”
Küçükkaya apologised for tweeting about the minister’s private life while standing by his claim that Kaya’s husband used ByLock.