Turkish appeals court overturns fine over calling MHP chair Bahçeli 'senile'
A Turkish appeals court has overturned the ruling to fine a social media user for calling MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli a “senile" politician who needs to “be put in an old people's home.” The court ruled that the remark in question is not an “insult.”
An Ankara appeals court has overturned the ruling to fine a social media user over “insulting” for a comment about far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli.
Accordingly, a Turkish court fined a social media user to pay 5,300 liras over “insulting” for calling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ally Bahçeli a “senile” politician on June 2, 2021.
“Put him in an old people's home already. He has become severely senile and gone out of his head by constantly changing sides,” the social media user had said in a Facebook comment.
However, the appeals court on March 1 ruled that the remark in question is not an “insult” and acquitted the user, overturning the fine sentence, according to reporting by the news portal Bianet.
In its ruling, the court stated that “although the expression is disturbing, it does not harm the honor and prestige of the participant. Considering that it is a rude, non-courteous way of addressing, the legal elements of the crime of insult are not formed,” referring to the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The court also ruled that the remark in question is within the scope of freedom of expression.