Turkish fashion designer Barbaros Şansal has been given a suspended prison sentence of 6 months, 20 days on charges of “insulting Turkish nation” with a video he posted on social media on the New Year’s Eve.
According to Sözcü daily, the sentence was sought in line with Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which makes it illegal to insult Turkey, the Turkish nation or Turkish government institutions.
The code initially came into force on June 1, 2005, and made it a crime to “insult Turkishness.” On April 30, 2008, the code was amended to change “Turkishness” into “the Turkish nation.”
Since 2005, charges have been brought in more than 65 cases, some of which are high profile.
January upon his return from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), Şansal was beaten up by a group of people who gathered at an Istanbul Airport tarmac in protest of his controversial video, which he shared on Dec. 31 to criticize Turkish people’s attending New Year’s Eve celebrations despite several problems in Turkey including mass detentions, corruption, rape, bribery and bigotry.
“I won’t celebrate. Do you know what I am going to do? I will drink up all drinks at bar and home,” Şansal said in the video before adding:” Drown in your shit, Turkey!”
A day after he was detained at the airport, Şansal was arrested by an İstanbul court and sent to Silivri prison. On March 1, Istanbul 5th Criminal Court decided to release him pending trial.