Jail sentence sought for famous Turkish lawyer Altun over ‘sharia’ remark

A Turkish prosecutor’s office has sought up to three years jail sentence for famous lawyer Feyza Altun over her “sharia” remark which was targeted by Islamists and pro-government figures.

Photo: AA

Duvar English

Beykoz Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in Istanbul has demanded up to three year imprisonment for renowned lawyer Feyza Altun on charge of “inciting people to hatred and hostility” for saying “f**k the sharia” in a social media post.

The same office on Feb. 20 objected to Altun’s release one day after her detention. 

On Feb. 19, Altun was detained for one day in the scope of an investigation initiated by an Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office on charge of “inciting people to hatred and hostility” for saying “F**k the sharia.” 

Some social media users targeted Altun for “insulting sharia” in a post shared on X on Feb. 18, where she said, “F**k the sharia,” in response to another user. Altun deleted the post after facing backlash from Islamists and pro-government figures.

Beykoz Chief Public Prosecutor's Office then prepared an indictment for the case, demanding a jail sentence for Altun from one year to three years, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Feb. 22.

In her testimony, Altun said she was not targeting any religion or belief, but rather “a political regime.”

The indictment included a definition of “sharia” from the Turkish Language Association, which was “Islamic law based on verses from the Quran and the words of the Prophet Muhammad.”

The indictment also included a report from the Anti-Cyber Crimes Branch Directorate of the Istanbul police, according to which “thousands of users reacted intensely” to Altun’s post “to what they perceived as a severe attack on their religious values,” 

“In this respect, a clear and imminent danger to public safety occurred,” it claimed.

The indictment added that Altun “committed the offense charged against her by publicly inciting one section of the public with different characteristics in terms of religion to hatred and hostility against the other section.”

After the backlash, Altun said “For me, what you call Sharia is the Taliban mentality that stones women on the streets.”

Altun’s detention once again stirred the discussions on the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) efforts to Islamize the country and the society.

This month, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan commented on the critics of Sharia law, saying “hostility against Sharia Law is hostility against Islam,”