Turkish bus driver accused of insulting Erdoğan for dropped newspaper

A coach passenger travelling from Turkey’s capital Ankara to the southern province of Burdur filed a complaint against the driver after finding a newspaper featuring a picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the floor of the vehicle, left-wing Birgün newspaper reported on Monday.

The passenger saw Erdoğan’s face on a newspaper on the stairs as he climbed into the bus at the Ankara bus terminal on Feb. 24, Birgün said, prompting him to file a complaint at a police station.

The passenger accused the bus driver of insulting the president upon arrival at the final destination of Burdur.

The bus driver was released after giving a statement to the police, in which he said that the newspaper had fallen on the floor without his knowledge and he did not mean to insult Erdoğan.

Insulting the president carries a sentence of between one and four years.

Between 2010 and 2017, 12,893 cases of insulting the president were filed. Of these, 12,305 were filed under Erdoğan’s presidency that began in 2014.