"When an ox comes to the palace, it does not become a king" - a journalist accused of insulting Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan / Photo by EPA-EFE / VLADIMIR SMIRNOV /

A Turkish court has ordered the detention of the journalist Sedef Kabas on charges of insulting the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and violating a law that has so far convicted tens of thousands of people, he said Turkish CNN.

Police detained Kabas about two hours after midnight and first took her to the main police station in Istanbul, and then transferred her to the city court, where the court ordered her official arrest, the TV presenter said.

Imprisonment for one to four years

The alleged insult refers to Kabas' comment on the president's cabinet.

Kabas did not name Erdogan directly. However, the authorities objected to the proverb she used during the Tele1 TV show, and later tweeted.

"When an ox comes to the palace, it does not become a king. "But the palace is becoming a barn," Kabas wrote.

"The honor of the Presidential Cabinet is the honor of our country. "I condemn the vulgar insults directed at our president and his office," wrote the Turkish government's communications director. Fahrettin Altun on Twitter.

Merdan Janardag, The editor-in-chief of Tele 1, where Kabas commented on the president's cabinet, strongly condemned her arrest.

"Her arrest overnight, at XNUMXam, is unacceptable because of the comments," he wrote on Twitter, adding that it was "an attempt to intimidate journalists, the media and society."

Thousands accused and convicted of insulting Erdogan

The law on insulting the president provides for one to four years in prison.

Last October, the European Court of Human Rights called on Turkey to change the law after ruling that detaining people under the law would violate freedom of expression.

Thousands have been charged and convicted of insulting Erdogan in the last seven years since he ousted the prime minister.

More than 30.000 investigations were launched in 2020 over similar allegations, with 7.790 cases opened, of which 3.325 ended in a conviction, according to the Turkish Justice Ministry, which is slightly lower than in 2019.

Since Erdogan became president in 2014, 160.169 investigations into the president's insult have been launched, 35.507 cases have been opened and 12.881 have been convicted.

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