The head of the main opposition CHP youth branch for the Bornova district in Aegean İzmir province has been sentenced to 11 months and 20 days of suspended jail term for “insulting” President Tayyip Erdoğan by shouting slogans at a 2014 rally.
23 Şubat 2016 Salı 08:27
CHP Bornova youth branch head Ömer Yener and Ali Aktaş, the former head of the CHP's youth branch in İzmir's Konak, were on trial facing one to four years in prison over “defaming the Turkish president” under Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK).
While the contents of the defendants' speech were not disclosed, reports indicated the incident took place at a rally entitled “Justice caught in red light,” organized against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Nov. 16, 2014, in protest of the corruption and bribery scandal involving the government that went public on Dec. 17, 2013.
Judge Celal Atay of İzmir's 21st Substantive Criminal Court showed videos of the statements in question and asked the defendants' lawyers whether they had anything to add. The defense attorney responded by saying all the statements constituted an exercise of the right to protest and lacked the elements of crime.
The court sentenced Yener to 14 months of imprisonment, which was later reduced to 11 months and 20 days of suspended jail term due to good conduct. Aktaş was acquitted of all charges.
The defense attorney said they would challenge the court's ruling.