Turkish authorities have launched investigations into 29,089 people between 2018-2020 on charges of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, daily Sözcü reported on July 20, citing Justice Ministry statistics.
Of these investigations, 9,773 were launched in 2020, including against 152 foreign nationals, the newspaper said.
Of those accused last year, 84 were aged between 12-15, whereas 206 were aged between 15-18, making up a total of 290 children.
Of the total 9,773 accused people, 34.4 percent were convicted, whereas 14.3 percent were acquitted of the charges. In 35.1 percent of the cases, the courts deferred the sentences, meaning the person is not jailed unless they are convicted of another crime within the next five years.
In 2018, when Turkey shifted to the executive presidential system, the number of cases launched on the grounds of “insulting” Erdoğan was 6,326, whereas this figure increased to 13,990 in 2019, displaying rising authoritarianism in the country.