A Turkish man identified only as E.A. was detained for saying that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was talking nonsense when he said his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) would put Turkey among the top 10 economies in the world, the daily Evrensel reported on June 29.
Speaking to a YouTube channel called Sokak Kedisi ("stray cat" in Turkish) in the Black Sea province of Rize, the man was asked to give his opinion about the president's statement by the interviewer Ebru Uzun.
"I think he's talking nonsense. We all see the swamp President Erdoğan dragged the country into. They're stealing from unborn children," E.A. told Uzun in the video.
Noting that he's unemployed at 30 years old, the man said that the country doesn't offer enough job opportunities to youth, and added that he doesn't feel like he can get married or build a life for himself any time soon.
"It's a crime to criticize the AKP, to say that the economy is bad and that you're unemployed," tweeted main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Rize deputy Saltuk Deniz.
Rizede AKP' yi eleştirmek ekonomi kötü demek, işsizim demek suç. Bugünde Sokakkedisi YouTube kanalına açıklama yapan E.A. gözaltına alındı..— Saltuk Deniz (@saltukdeniz) June 29, 2021
The deputy also noted the double standards employed by the Turkish judiciary, pointing out that a court had released a mother and stepfather who sold their children for sex in exchange for money.
Meanwhile, interviewer Uzun was also summoned by the prosecutor's office to testify: Insult charges are often deployed by Turkish prosecution in retaliation of criticisms about the president or his government.