Journalist Sinan Aygül arrested for ‘insulting’ AKP lawmaker

Journalist Sinan Aygül has been arrested for refusing to pay a judicial fine in a case that found him guilty of "using the press to insult" ruling AKP MP Vahit Kiler in a 2014-dated column.

Duvar English

Bitlis Journalists Association chair Sinan Aygül has been arrested over the charges of "using the press to insult" ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lawmaker Vahit Kiler in a column dated 2014.

In his column, Aygül wrote about allegations of $450 million worth of corruption at the Geothermal Energy Project in the eastern province of Bitlis and referred to the then-lawmaker Vahit Kiler as a “wolf politician,” implying that he is a “cunning” person.

Last year, a court sentenced Aygül to a fine of 1,500 liras over the charges in question, but the journalist declared that he would not pay the judicial fine as an act of "civil disobedience."

“‘Wolf politician’ is an idiom and its meaning is clear. Being punished in this case is a very painful situation in terms of freedom of press and expression, while even filing a lawsuit is absurd,” Aygül said. 

An arrest warrant was issued for the journalist after his sentence was finalized. He was arrested on Sept. 13 at the Bitlis Courthouse.

Aygül’s lawyer Burhan Aksoy said: “A judicial fine of 1,500 liras corresponds to a 75-day prison sentence.”