Turkish woman handed 2 and a half year sentence for insulting Atatürk

A Turkish woman who insulted Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk has been sentenced to two years and six months in prison, news site Gazete Duvar reported on Tuesday.

The 23-year-old Turkish woman, Safiye İnci, recorded herself describing her dislike of Atatürk at the mausoleum where he is buried in Turkey’s capital, Ankara, in July, and shared the video on social media.

The recording struck a nerve in Turkey, where insulting Atatürk is illegal and secularist followers of his legacy are among the strongest opponents of the sitting president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, whose rise was rooted in political Islam.

“I am very embarrassed for having come here. I came because they really insisted. I don’t like Atatürk a bit. Atatürk didn’t found Turkey, either. You know, there are Atatürkists who don’t like Tayyip (Erdoğan)... Atatürk could not even be Tayyip’s shit,” İnci said in the recording.

The remarks by İnci, who was covered in a black chador in the video clip, elicited outcry from secularists on Turkish social media, who pointed out the heavy legal action taken against those deemed to have insulted Erdoğan. A hashtag calling for İnci’s arrest quickly became a nationwide trend.