A well-known Turkish television journalist has been imprisoned for criticizing President Erdogan.

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Sedef Kabas, a well-known Turkish journalist, was arrested for allegedly insulting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s president.

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She was apprehended by police in the early hours of Saturday morning, and a judge ordered that she be held in custody pending her trial.

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Ugur Poyraz, Kabas’ lawyer, said the “illegal” judgment would be appealed on Monday, January 24.

 

According to Poyraz:

 

“We hope Turkey can return to rule of law soon.”

The alleged insult came in the guise of a palace-related proverb, which Kabas shared on an opposition television channel as well as on her Twitter account, prompting government officials to criticize her.

 

Kabas avoided mentioning Erdogan by name. The authorities, on the other hand, take issue with a proverb she uttered during a Tele1 television broadcast and later tweeted.

 

“When the ox comes to the palace, he does not become a king,” Kabas said. “But the palace becomes a barn.”

 

Prominent Turkey TV journalist detained for insulting President Erdogan

 

Erdogan spokesperson Fahrettin Altun called Kabas “immoral” and “irresponsible.” “The honor of the presidency’s office is the honor of our country. … I condemn the vulgar insults made against our president and his office,” he wrote.

 

Turkey’s justice minister, Abdulhamit Gul, wrote on Twitter that Kabas will “get what she deserves” for her “unlawful” remarks.

 

The country’s broadcast regulator, RTUK, meanwhile, started an investigation into Tele1 for “unacceptable statements targeting our president.”

 

Tele1’s chief editor, Merdan Yanardag, sharply criticized the arrest. He said;

 

“Her detention overnight at 2 a.m. because of a proverb is unacceptable.

“This stance is an attempt to intimidate journalists, the media and society.”

 

The crime of insulting the president carries a jail sentence of one to four years in Turkey.  Since Erdogan became president in 2014, 35,507 cases of insulting the president were filed and there were 12,881 convictions.

 

Kabas had previously been charged after she posted criticism of a government-appointed judge who dropped a corruption probe against Erdogan and other politicians. She was later released.

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