Two Turkish citizens in their 20s were subject to international travel bans for effectively criticizing the restricted access granted to Turkish passports in a TikTok video on April 25.
The two TikTok users, identified only as K.Ö. and N.Y., were seen using Turkish passports as coasters, mittens and bookmarks in the video in question, for which they were accused of belittling national symbols.
"We made this joke to humor the international travel ban in Turkey. We absolutely had no intention of belittling Turkish passports and the Turkish flag," said K.Ö. in their court statement.
Other social media accounts have shared the two users' TikTok video in content that antagonized the state, K.Ö. added.
"We love our country and our nation," K.Ö said.
Insult cases are often deployed by the Turkish judiciary in retaliation of criticism, often about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the government.