Iconic Turkish actors Müjdat Gezen and Metin Akpınar face four years and eight months in prison on charges of "insulting the president."
Prosecuted for comments they made on television, the actors face charges that are commonly directed at critics of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
During the program, Akpınar blamed the social polarization in Turkey on the AKP, said that Turkey needed to be more democratic and that "maybe leaders could be hung from their feet or poisoned in cellars" if this couldn't be achieved peacefully.
"[Erdoğan] tells the people 'know your place.' Look Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, you cannot test our patriotism. Know your place," Gezen had said on the same broadcast.
While 79-year-old Akpınar was unable to attend the Feb. 17 hearing, Gezen was escorted by two people to the courtroom.
"If saying 'know your place' was an insult, the president wouldn't say it. Besides, this phrase is not considered an insult in the dictionary. It just means 'know your worth,'" Gezen said, asking for his acquittal.
While Gezen's attorney said that the speeches in question lacked the elements of an insult crime, Akpınar's lawyer said that his client's statements were not insults, but criticisms.
The hearing was postponed to allow for the defendants and their attorneys to respond to the prosecutor's opinion asking for four years and eight months for each defendant.