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Turkey: Actress indicted for allegedly insulting president Erdoğan

23 November 2020
Image: Nilüfer Aydan / Nilüfer Aydan on Facebook

 

August 2020: Actress Nilüfer Aydan has been indicted on charges of “insulting the president”, facing a prison sentence of up to four years and eight months, reports SOL TV. In the indictment from Istanbul’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in August, it is stated that the investigation started because of posts published on Facebook between 2016 and 2018.

The Prosecutor’s office stated Aydan’s social media posts could not be evaluated under freedom of expression clauses because they were made with the intention of insulting president Erdoğan. Some of the actress’ posts were also evaluated as FETÖ propaganda, a movement led by US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, and a separate investigation was conducted in this direction.

In a statement, Aydan claimed that though the social media account is hers, she admitted she handed her mobile phone to young people to post on her behalf since she wasn’t familiarised with the technology.

Nilüfer Aydan was asked to appear before the Istanbul Anatolian Criminal Court of First Instance in before the end of November 2020.

The case against the actress is similar to the poet’s Ahmet Telli, covered by Freemuse on 14 October. In 2019, Freemuse reported the Turkish government to be the main violator of documented breaches of artistic freedom in Turkey.

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