Duvar English

Liking posts related to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on social media must be handled within the scope of freedom of expression, a court in the southeastern province of Mardin has ruled.

Mürvet Aslan was accused of making terror propaganda for liking posts on Facebook with the pictures of militants of the PKK, which is designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey, by Mardin Public Prosecutor’s Office.

The indictment prepared by the prosecutor’s office and accepted by Mardin Second Heavy Penal Court said that Aslan liked pictures taken during PKK militants’ funerals in the past and sought him to be sentenced to prison.

During the first hearing of the case on Nov. 18, Aslan was acquitted, since “liking posts on social media doesn’t constitute a crime on its own.”

Thousands of people have been accused of making terror propaganda over their social media posts in recent years. The Mardin court’s ruling sets a significant precedent for the aforementioned cases.

In its justified decision, the court said that Aslan liked the posts only and didn’t share them.

“The posts with pictures, quotes and etc. that include propaganda need to be published in a way that other people would see in order for the crime of propaganda to occur. Liking pictures that propagate is not enough for this crime to occur,” Mesopotamia Agency cited the court as saying.

The court also said that the freedom of expression is one of the fundamental rights that suffers from violations and limitations the most as part of the fight against terror.