The Yalova 2nd Penal Court of First Instance sentenced writer Yılmaz Odabaşı on 3 November 2021 to 11 months and 20 days of imprisonment for “insulting the President” in his Twitter posts about elections in Turkey dating back to 2018, reported MLSA Turkey.
Odabaşı was sentenced for “insulting the President” during the second hearing of the trial.
In his Twitter post published on 3 November 2021, the artist said that “Today, in my new trial for ‘insulting the President’, I was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days in prison. They want to silence us, but I will continue to share my ideas and criticisms with my friends and readers.”
Bugün “Cumhurbaşkanı’na hakaret”ten yeni yargılanmamda 11 ay 20 gün hapis cezasına çarptırıldım…Bizleri susturmak istiyorlar; fakat fikirlerimi ve eleştirilerimi dost ve okurlarımla paylaşmaya yine devam edeceğim…
— Yılmaz Odabaşı (@yilmazodabasi) November 3, 2021
The writer’s lawyer stated that they would appeal against this sentence.
Susma24 reports that Odabaşı was tried under the same charges in 2017 for allegedly insulting the President in an article. The artist was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison on 25 January 2017. The sentence was postponed.
In its State of Artistic Freedom 2021 report, Freemuse states that a vague framework of anti-terror law and criminalised insults against the president were behind more than half of the documented violations in Turkey in 2020.