US News Judged for having "insulted" Erdogan, two actors acquitted
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In Turkey, two famous actors prosecuted for "insulting the head of state" were acquitted on Monday March 1 by an Istanbul court.
With our correspondent in Istanbul, Anne Andlauer
Müjdat Gezen and Metin Akpinar have been performing on stage, in series and in cinema for over half a century. Several generations of Turks appreciate their game, their humor and their outspokenness. But he almost took them to prison.
In December 2018, on a television set, the two men made no secret of their opposition to Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Stay in your place,” Müjdat Gezen had launched to the president. Metin Akpinar, more vehemently, had spoken of the fate of certain leaders in non-democratic regimes. "The leader could end up hanging by the feet or poisoned in a cellar," he warned.
Because of these words, Müjdat Gezen and Metin Akpinar were prosecuted for "insulting the head of state". But as the prosecution called for the maximum sentence of four years in prison, an Istanbul court finally acquitted them.
Nothing guaranteed this verdict. According to the latest official figures, between the election of Tayyip Erdogan as president in August 2014 and the end of 2019, more than 27,700 people were prosecuted for "insult". More than 9,500 of them have been convicted, compared to 4,300 who received an acquittal.
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