Turkish academic sentenced for insulting Erdoğan in a tweet

A Turkish court sentenced academic Cenk Yiğiter to one year and five months in prison for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a social media post that did not mention the famously litigious leader by name, the Duvar news website said.

Yiğiter was previously dismissed from his job for signing a 2016 petition calling for a peaceful end to Turkey’s three-decades-old conflict with Kurdish militants.

Though Turkish courts usually suspend sentences of the scores of people convicted of insulting Erdoğan for a first time offence, judges imposed a custodial sentence.

“When someone said Reis in the past, I remembered Chief Temel,” Yiğiter said on Twitter, referring to the cartoon character Popeye, who is known as Chief Temel in Turkey. Reis, meaning chief, is a term that has come to refer to Erdoğan, who has run Turkey for the last 15 years. “Now, I remember a prat,” Yiğiter said.