Erdoğan goes after the opposition with charges of “insulting the president” in the tweets that were sent 7 years ago

The total number of people who received punishment for this crime till 2017 was 3,607. However, as Erdoğan started to lose with the collapse of all his plans and programs and the country was sent to an endless turmoil with the economic bankruptcy, useless wars, failed projects with heavy toll on the citizens, the number of people who received punishment for insulting the president rose to 6,069 in 2018 alone.

Erdoğan goes after the opposition with charges of “insulting the president” in the tweets that were sent 7 years ago

Knowing he is losing on all fronts, President Erdoğan’s only chance for staying on top is to create imaginary criminals, coups, attacks and enemies out to get him. He uses these imaginary foes to attack and curtail whatever the remnants of a failed democracy may have left behind.

After attacking all opposition using the state police, the appointed prosecutors, the army, the appointed judges, and even the neighborhood security guards he is trying to elevate to the level of police officers, he is going after anybody who would dare to think or say anything that opposes his regime.

This time around, Erdoğan instructed his lawyers to investigate the local General Secretary of the youth organization of the main opposition party CHP in the city of Izmir, a stronghold of the opposition. The lawyers were digging deep to get the 24-year-old woman who is also serving in the local municipal assembly.

Dila Koyurga, the secretary of CHP’s Izmir office was investigated by the president’s attorneys who referred her name to the prosecutors for criminal investigation. Her crime was, they complained, her tweets 7 years ago, when she was 17, that may be construed as “insulting the president.” She has been detained by the police and is being kept for her testimony. She faces arrest and long prison terms for criticizing the president.

The charge “insulting the president” is a catch-all crime that Erdoğan uses to silence all opponents. It seems Erdoğan, and his life-long friend Abdullah Gül who was the previous president, decided to use this rarely used crime as a tool to suppress all dissent as soon as they took office. However, lately the number of people charged under this law has seen a dramatic increase.

While Gül was in the office the number of people charged with the insult accusation suddenly jumped 420% compared to the previous terms. During Ahmet Necdet Sezer, a very respected, unbiased, president known for his honesty and humility only 11 people were charged for insulting the president. In contrast Gül who is also from the same party of Islamists formed by Erdoğan, the AKP, charged 848 people for insulting him. Gül and Erdoğan had found a new tool to deal with the opposition. Any criticism was deemed an insult and the government appointed prosecutors were having the time of their lives.

Erdoğan upped the numbers that had already exploded ın Gül’s term. The people charged with insulting the president hit the roof even in the first four years of his presidency, giving a hint at what the country was facing. The defendants had reached 17,406, an increase of nearly 20 times the previous era. Erdoğan is no friend of any democracy. He had spent time in prison for reciting a violence ridden poem where he praised religious bigotry and attacks against the infidels by making the mosque minarets the spears of his soldiers. In his first four years, the increase in the accused showed a staggering 2,052%.

The total number of people who received punishment for this crime till 2017 was 3,607. However, as Erdoğan started to lose with the collapse of all his plans and programs and the country was sent to an endless turmoil with the economic bankruptcy, useless wars, failed projects with heavy toll on the citizens, the number of people who received punishment for insulting the president rose to 6,069 in 2018 alone.

However, it seems the president’s lawyers are having a very hard time finding more people who have insulted the president. They have started digging deep to find something, anything, to force those critical of the government into prisons. Dila Koyurga, the secretary of the opposition party CHP, is now the latest victim of this witch-hunt and the only possible crime they could conjure up were the tweets she had sent 7 years ago.

However, Dila Koyurga is not alone in the latest accusations. The vice president of Izmir CHP offices, Yasin Ergül, and four more CHP officials are also accused of insulting the president in their past and are required to surrender to the police and face detention or arrest.

Sendika.org news (M.B.)

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