Turkish court arrests two minors over ‘degrading religious values’

A Turkish court has arrested two 16-year-olds for social media posts “degrading religious values.”

Duvar English

A Turkish court in Nazilli, in Turkey’s Aegean Aydın Province, has arrested two of the three teenagers under investigation for social media posts that were “insulting to religious values.” The other is released under judicial control, Anadolu Agency reports. 

The prosecutor’s office had opened an investigation on three 16-year-olds for posts on social media that allegedly “insulted religious values.” Two of the three are arrested, pending trial. 

Investigations on individuals’ social media posts over “publicly degrading the religious values of a section of the public” and “inciting hatred or enmity in one section of the public” (Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code) are on the rise. 

A man on Oct. 11 was jailed for posting a photo of an alcoholic beverage in a mosque. Another man in 2022 was given a jail term for posting himself drinking traditional Turkish alcoholic drink rakı on an Islamic holy night. 

Even though the international treaties that Turkey signed advise the jail term for minors as the last punishment to resort, the Turkish authorities often give jail term on the charges on "insulting the religious or national values," or "insulting the president."