Turkish writer to face trial for insulting president

A Turkish humour writer will face trial on charges of insulting the president over his social media posts, news site Duvar reported on Friday.

Writer Cihan Demirci said he had been summoned to police headquarters in Istanbul nine months ago to give a statement after being charged with insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

"I’ve been a humourist for 41 years, I only offer criticism through humour, not insults," Duvar quoted Demirci as saying.

"This is the first time something like this is happening to me, words fail me," he said. 

Insulting the president is considered a crime in Turkey and carries a sentence of between one and four years.

Thousands of people have been charged with insulting the president over social media posts, cartoons and news stories in recent years.

Demirci’s trial is scheduled to begin on Oct. 10, Duvar reported.

Between 2010 and 2017, 12,893 cases of insulting the president went through the legal system. Of these, 12,305 were filed under the presidency Erdoğan, who assumed office in 2014.