Turkish police on Friday detained a local journalist for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu in a Youtube video he released last week.
The whereabouts of the detained journalist, İrfan Aydın, is unknown at time of writing.
Aydın’s Youtube videos focus on the allegations of an organized crime boss, Sedat Peker, involving political figures.
Peker, once a staunch supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has since early May been setting the country’s political agenda through videos he posts on YouTube, the latest of which has been watched by nearly 15 million people since Sunday.
Having fled to Dubai, the mobster has been making shocking revelations about state-mafia relations, drug trafficking and murders implicating state officials.
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.