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On 5 June 2020, journalist Metin Uca was sentenced to 14 months and 17 days in prison for “insulting a public officer in duty” in a tweet he posted about an election result forecast. The charges against him followed complaints by the state-owned Anadolu News Agency (AA) director Şenol Kazancı and deputy director Mustafa Özkaya, who are classified as “public officers”. They said the journalist had accused the government-controlled outlet of alleged election fraud. Uca had tweeted raising concerns about AA’s highly accurate forecast of the presidential and national elections results on the day of the vote, 24 June 2018. AA executives Kazancı and Özkaya filed a criminal complaint against Uca for “insult”. In its ruling, the court said that Uca’s comments had overstepped freedom of expression. The court also said that sharing his views on a public social media platform was a reason for increase in the penalty.
State-run AA, founded in 1920, is under direct editorial control of the AKP government. The government also exerts powerful control over the country’s judicial system and courts.
09 Jun 2020
OSCE Media Freedom Representative concerned by prison sentences against two journalists in Turkey, urges authorities to respect freedom of expression