Legendary Turkish actor Genco Erkal, 83, on April 19 gave his testimony to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in an investigation concerning charges of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on social media.
After giving his testimony at the Istanbul Courthouse, the actor told reporters that he was facing an investigation over his seven social media posts, although there was no “element of insulting against the president” in his posts.
“I have explained [during my testimony] that my job is doing political theatre, that I have been doing this job for the last 60 years, that I stand against wrongdoings, oppression, injustice, bigotry and that I voice these opinions both from the stage and social media,” Erkal was quoted as saying by daily Evrensel.
“I have said, 'I am against the presidential system.' I said, 'I am against the limitation of freedom of expression, the imprisonment of people because of their thoughts, the massacre and concretion of nature,” Erkal reportedly further told reporters.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmakers Mahmut Tanal, Sezgin Tanrıkulu, Turan Aydoğan and Gülizar Emecan were also at the courthouse to show their support for the acclaimed actor.
Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, punishable by up to four years in prison. Thousands of people, including journalists, politicians, actors and even schoolchildren, have been prosecuted for alleged insults to Erdoğan.