An Istanbul district prosecutor has sought a prison sentence for between six months and five years for a presenter from pro-government Akit TV for encouraging people to mobilize and throw hand grenades at the headquarters of the daily Cumhuriyet.
“Let’s gather altogether and throw a hand grenade in front of the daily Cumhuriyet,” Fatin Dağıstanlı said in December of last year while commenting on an article published in the newspaper entitled “Sharia Workshop.”
The Cumhuriyet article, which was featured on its headline, reported on a religious workshop proposed by an Ankara-based Islamic scholar, who sent a letter to academics from a number of universities calling on a workshop to address how the present legal structures have failed to prevent moral crises in Turkey and throughout the world.
Dağıstanlı said that he didn’t even bother reading the article, and merely held up a copy of the newspaper and pointed to its front page headline, stating that Cumhuriyet had “waged a war against Sharia.”
The daily Akit and Akit TV are known to be provocative media outlets that engage in hate speech frequently.
Though Dağıstanlı said in a statement to prosecutors that his words were misconstrued and that he was not inciting violence, the indictment indicates otherwise, stating that his comments can be understood as a call to violence. If convicted, Dağıstantlı’s sentence could be increased by up to one half of its length due to his crime being disseminated via a media outlet.