Former Miss Turkey Faces Prison for ‘Insulting’ Erdogan

Former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac is facing up to two years in prison for social media posts that prosecutors have deemed to be critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Wednesday.

The woman’s lawyer, Emre Telci, said that an Istanbul prosecutor is demanding that Buyuksarac be prosecuted on charges of insulting a public official.

A court will decide whether to start proceedings.

Buyuksarac was detained last month for sharing a satirical poem on her Instagram account, but she denies insulting Erdogan, according to AP.

She becomes the latest figure to face trial for insulting Erdogan, amid fear the country is lurching toward authoritarian rule.

In December, police arrested, and subsequently released, a 16-year-old student on charges of insulting Erdogan.

In recent years, Turkey has curbed media freedoms, cracked down on critical social media postings and prosecuted hundreds of people who took part in anti-government protests.

Throughout Erdogan’s time in power there have been more signs of Turkey turning more extremist. In 2013, the Turkish Parliament tightened restrictions on the sale and advertising of alcoholic beverages and has charged individuals with insulting Islamic religious values over comments made on social media.

In December, Erdogan vowed to make lessons in the Arabic-alphabet Ottoman language compulsory in high schools, despite objections from secularists.

Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/191856

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