Lawsuit filed against 13-year-old child over 'insulting' Erdoğan

A Turkish court has opened a lawsuit against a 13-year-old child over the alleged charges of “insulting the President.” The prosecutor argued that the child "attacked the honor and dignity of the President."

Duvar English

Istanbul Gaziosmanpaşa Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has prepared an indictment against a 13-year-old child with the B.C.G. initials over the charges of "insulting the President." Gaziosmanpaşa Juvenile Court accepted the indictment and opened the lawsuit against B.C.G.

In the indictment, the prosecutor argued that B.C.G. was complained to the Presidential Communication Center (CİMER) because of their remarks in a WhatsApp group, the daily BirGün reported on April 30.

In their statement, B.C.G. refused the charges. 

Moreover, a report was prepared by the Forensic Medicine about the child, which said the child's ability to perceive the legal meaning and consequences of their action was sufficiently developed. 

In addition, the prosecutor argued that the 13-year-old child "attacked the honor and dignity of the President,” and demanded they be punished for “insulting” the President.

In 2022, a total of 1,075 children were sued over the charges of  "insulting the President", "insulting the signs of the sovereignty of the state", "insulting the Turkish Nation", "insulting the State of the Republic of Turkey, the institutions and organs of the state."

A tool commonly deployed by Ankara to reprimand critics of the government, insult charges often concern comments about the president.

In October 2021, the ECHR ruled that the crime of “insulting the president” was a violation of basic human rights and freedom of speech. It fined Turkey and told the country to change the law and pay recompense to those charged. 

Despite the ruling, the Turkish judiciary has continued to sentence people over these charges to suppress the opposition.