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Thursday, 22 October 2020

Turkish teen detained for 'insulting' Erdogan

AFP , Thursday 22 Oct 2015
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses people from southeastern Turkey, in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 (Photo: AP)
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A 15-year-old schoolboy has been detained by police in Turkey for allegedly "insulting" President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, local media reports said Thursday.

The teenager, identified by the initials U. E., spent Wednesday night in a police station after being stopped by officers outside an Internet cafe, Cihan news agency said.

He was set to be brought before a court on Thursday which would decide whether to charge the minor or fine him.

The agency did not give details of the boy's alleged "insult".

It is illegal under Turkish law to insult the president and those found guilty face up to four years in jail.

The arrest in December of a 17-year-old accused of insulting Erdogan sparked outrage in the country and abroad, fuelling concerns about freedom of speech in Turkey.

In that case the teenager was given an 11-month suspended sentence.

Since Erdogan's election as president last August -- after 11 years as prime minister -- the number of prosecutions for insulting the head of state have risen and target artists and journalists as well as schoolchildren.

Earlier this month the editor of a leading English-language daily newspaper, Today's Zaman, was detained on suspicion of insulting Erdogan in a series of tweets.

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