You know beyond doubt that if you are arrested and sentenced for criticizing your president, then you absolutely do not live in a free society. And that’s exactly what happened to a news editor in Turkey who called Erdogan a thief:
TODAY’S ZAMAN – The managing editor of the soL daily, Hafize Kazcı, has been sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, joining an ever-growing number of people who have been prosecuted over claims of insulting the president and other public officials.
Kazcı’s exact statement, according to the publication below, was “We are leftists but you are a thief.” He was referring to a corruption scandal that rocked Turkey in the last couple years, one that Erdogan tried to blame on Israel.
The one year sentence was apparently ‘suspended’ and Kazci will only have to serve it if he criticizes Erdogan again. What a way to live:
ANSAMED – Charges and convictions against people who “offend” Turkish Islamist president Recep Tayyip Erdogan are multiplying, according to the opposition press. Journalist Hafize Kazci, managing editor of left-leaning newspaper Sol, was sentenced to a year in jail after writing about Erdogan’s involvement in the Bosphorous corruption scandal. “We are leftists but you are a thief”, he wrote quoting a statement by a human rights ngo.
Kazci reported about the controversy initiated by Erdogan himself, who accused students from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara (Odtu), particularly active during the Gezi Park demonstrations, of being “terrorists” and “atheists”.
According to Zaman online, the sentence was ‘suspended’. Kazci will serve time in jail only if he reiterates his crime.
Notice how both articles suggest this is just one instance in many where the press is being jailed by the government of Turkey? Yeah, gotta love this new Islamic Republic of Turkey where freedom of speech only goes as far as the front door of your house.