The latest incident is a new court case against the journalist Tunca Öğreten concerning an interview he had with Perihan Mağden, a prominent Turkish writer, on the topic of the September 2015 confiscation of Nokta Mag, a provocative political magazine that has been closed down and its editors arrested.
The crime that Öğreten is accused of is filed under “Insult to the President” cases (art. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code), and the claim arises from Mağden’s statement in the interview that president Erdogan “is behaving like a wild tiger, a wild animal in a corner”.
Öğreten writes for the digital platform Diken, which is a young news portal. The Daily Yurt also published the news piece and the president’s lawyers cited news clips from Yurt when they contacted the State Chief Prosecutor in Istanbul.
Mağden has been questioned regarding the quotation; she denied accusations saying that “as a writer I have applied a literary form of similitude while criticizing the raiding of the Nokta Mag.”
The court has rejected the explanation and a court case has been opened not only for Mağden who uttered the words “wild animal” but also for Öğreten who published them. Journalist Öğreten is facing up to 4 years of prison for this court case; the first trial will take place in Istanbul on 12 May 2016.
There are a total of five criminal cases opened against Öğreten: three for “insult to the President”, two for “insult to the Prime Minister” and one for “terrorism propaganda through journalism”.
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