17 Mar 2016 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 02 Apr 2015 n° 46/2015 Turkey
Turkish Cartoonists Bahadır Baruter and Özer Aydoğan Found Guilty of Insulting President Erdoğan
Turkish cartoonists Bahadır Baruter and Özer Aydoğan, from the Turkish satirical magazine Penguen, have been found guilty of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a cartoon published on the cover of the magazine’s August 2014 issue. In March 2015, the court sentenced both cartoonists to 11 months and 20 days in prison. That sentence was subsequently commuted into a fine of 7,000 Liras (2,500 euros) each. The cartoon depicted newly elected Erdoğan arriving at his presidential palace and saying: “What a bland celebration. We could have at least sacrificed a journalist.” The prosecutor alleged that the cartoon was insulting. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) called on the Turkish authorities to decriminalise defamation and remove the offence of insulting the President of the Republic.
25 Mar 2015
On 24 March 2015, cartoonists Bahadır Baruter and Özer Aydoğan have been found guilty of insulting Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a cartoon on the cover of the Penguen magazine and sentenced to 14 months in prison. That sentence was reduced to 11 months and 20 days, for “good conduct” during the trial, and subsequently commuted to a fine of 7,000 Liras each.
22 Oct 2015
Response of the Turkish Government (information provided by the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Turkey)
17 Mar 2016
The Venice Commission suggests that Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (insulting the President of Republic) be repealed to avoid further violations of the freedom of expression.