Turkish journalist and writer Enver Aysever was briefly detained on March 17 for allegedly inciting hatred and animosity in the public by sharing a cartoon that showed a figure in a bodysuit spraying disinfectant into the head of a man in Muslim religious attire.
Aysever shared the cartoon on March 16, 2020 with the caption "This is the only issue. Do we understand what the problem is?"
Initially, the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office sought up to 18 months in prison against Aysever on charges of insulting religious values adopted by parts of society, in an indictment prepared in November of 2020.
Aysever was briefly detained about the same exact social media post on March 17, meaning that the prosecutor's office called him back about something he had already given his official statement on.
The writer had told the prosecutor's office that he shared the artwork as a criticism of people who capitalize on religion, but the prosecutor's office also launched an investigation into the artist, Birol Çün.
Detaining journalists, civilians and politicians on "insult" charges is a common practice by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), often prosecuting social media users for criticizing the president, the government, or their values.