Turkish man in western Izmir province sentenced to jail for insulting Erdoğan

A Turkish court has sentenced a man to one year in prison on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a social media post, BirGün newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The charge stems from a comment the 56-year-old man from western İzmir province made under a news report on war-torn Libya, where Turkey maintains military presence, the newspaper said.

“Ottoman colony and oil trade,’’ the man allegedly wrote, under a new report on Turkish soldiers killed in the oil-rich North African country.

In Libya, Turkey deployed hundreds of soldiers and thousands of Syrian fighters in support of Libya's internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in its battle against forces of Libya's General Khalifa Hafta, who is backed by Russian and Sudanese mercenaries. 

Insulting the president is a crime according to Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) and carries a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Investigations and convictions on Article 299 have skyrocketed since Erdoğan stepped into office as president in 2014.