Turkish prosecutor claims dead Ottoman sultans 'harmed' by journalist's tweets about TV show

A Turkish prosecutor claimed that long-dead Ottoman sultans as a whole were harmed by the social media posts of journalist Oktay Candemir where he mocked a series of TV productions about ancient rulers.

Duvar English

Sultans of the Ottoman Empire were collectively cited as the plaintiff in an insult case against journalist Oktay Candemir for his social media posts teasing the television show Diriliş: Ertuğrul, meaning Resurrection: Ertuğrul, a series about 12th-century Turkish tribes. 

Candemir's tweet mocked the Turkish television industry's monopolization of ancient Turkish rulers such as with Diriliş: Ertuğrul, but also cited predecessors in the genre. 

"After 'Diriliş: Ertuğrul' and 'Foundation: Osman,' now a show called 'Awakening: Seljuk' is starting," Candemir tweeted. "Next is 'Fainting: Yavuz,' 'Waking: Fatih,' 'Sleeping: Kanuni,' 'Getting up: Murat IV,' 'Whining: Abdülhamit' and 'Begging: Vahdettin!'"

Without an actual plaintiff for the case, the prosecutor created unusual citations by naming Ottoman sultans as "those harmed by the crime."

"I don't know how I harmed sultans that died centuries ago. Besides, Ertuğrul wasn't a sultan," Candemir said in response to the indictment, noting that Ertuğrul was a 12th-century tribe leader.

"There are five sultans I mentioned in my post. I didn't even name the remaining 31, but they were included in the investigation," Candemir noted in another tweet.

Adoration for Ottoman culture in the Turkish population has spiked under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) thanks to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's praises for the empire.