From the freedom of speech files in a country which wants to join the European Union:
A former Miss Turkey was handed a 14-month suspended prison sentence on Tuesday for insulting President Tayyip Erdogan through a poem she shared on Instagram, the latest of at least a dozen Turks to face such a sentence.
An Istanbul court found model Merve Buyuksarac, 27, guilty of insulting a public official but suspended the sentence on condition she does not repeat the act for the next five years, local media said.
How gracious and merciful of them.
Merve is not a satirical poet herself; it seems she was merely quoting â€œa few lines from a poem called the â€œMasterâ€™s Poemâ€ from weekly Turkish satirical magazine Uykusuz. Erdoganâ€™s totalitarian measures have earned him the nickname â€œBuyuk Ustaâ€ (the Big Master). Buyuksarac later deleted the poem, which is a satire on the national anthem. She said that she simply thought it was funny at the time.â€
Letâ€™s not be too harsh on the Turks; after all, Germany is now prosecuting a German comedian who, in Germany, said some nasty things â€“ in German â€“ about President Erdogan. Apparently there is still an old law on the books in Germany that prohibits defamation of foreign leaders, which Erdoganâ€™s lawyers have managed to unearth in order to lodge a complaint. The law in question might or might not be repealed over the next year or two, but meanwhile the prosecution is proceeding, in a very German fashion.
In the meantime I will #standwithmerve. In the corner.