80-Year-Old Detained For Insulting Erdogan By Liking A Facebook Post.

An 80-year-old man was detained and charged with insulting Turkey’s president after “liking” a post shared on Facebook, said Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Muharrem Erkek on Saturday.

The octogenarian was taken into police custody from his home in capital Ankara, Erkek tweeted.

The incident happened on April 5, over a week after the Interior Ministry issued a curfew on elderly citizens as a measure against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The retired state worker, from the Çayeli district in northeastern Rize province, said he liked the social media without reading its content, according to the questionable testimony written up by the police and shared in Erkek’s tweet.

“Also, some (Facebook posts) were marked as if I liked them because I unwittingly touched my hand on the phone screen, because I am old and have a cataract in my eye,” the man said.

The elderly man apologized for the event in the testimony.

“The president is my fellow countryman and our villages. I worked in the state for 32 years and retired. I cannot think of any insult to my fellow countryman, and the president and the state elders,” he said.

CHP’s Erkek condemned the police’s response while pandemic measures were in effect.

“It doesn’t matter whether the man catches COVID-19 virus or be in danger because of age. All that matters is one man’s pleasure,” the MP said.

The criminal case against the octogenarian highlights the forceful response by Turkish authorities to perceived slights against the current government.

Meanwhile, a Cumhuriyet journalist, Hazal Ocak, said she was under state investigation for “defamation” on her breaking report on Finance Minister Berat Albayrak purchasing land on the Istanbul Canal, calling the affair a “routine process of buying and selling”.

She can face between one to two years of imprisonment, Birgün said.

H/T Ahval

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