At least 29,000 people have been investigated across Turkey for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish nation and government officials over social media posts since 2019, Halk TV reported.

Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, according to the controversial Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Whoever insults the president or a government official can face up to four years in prison, a sentence that can be increased if the crime was committed through the mass media.

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.