Hacı Bişkin / Duvar

Istanbul police have detained a man who wanted to send a written warning (“ihtarname” in Turkish) to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through a notary’s office.

The incident concerns Nuri Başkapan who attempted to send a letter to Erdoğan complaining that he was not “acting like an independent president.” Başkapan’s letter submitted to the Sarıyer 2nd Notary said that the applicant was against Erdoğan’s referring to the opposition Nation Alliance as an alliance of contempt and shame (“illet and zillet ittifakı”) during the electoral period last year. “I do not recognize your presidency and do not accept it,” the letter read.

After the notary’s office said that they cannot send such a letter to Erdoğan, Başkapan wanted the notary officials to declare this to himself in a written format, leading the office to call the police.

Başkapan was then taken to the Sarıyer police station, where a legal process was launched against him on charges of “insulting the President” under the Criminal Code Article 299 which punishes offenders with up to four years in prison.

Başkapan reacted against this, telling the police: “I did not insult. I wanted to send a notarized written warning to the President, and the reasons of this are written on the letter.” The police then referred Başkapan to the prosecutor’s office, where his testimony was taken. Afterwards, Başkapan was released.