Village head arrested in southern Turkey for insulting Erdoğan

Turkish gendarmes arrested a muhtar (village head) in Turkey’s southern province of Osmaniye for allegedly insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Sunday.

The arrest of Mustafa U. followed an argument between the muhtar, a non-partisan village and neighbourhood head responsible for day-to-day services including registering residents and, in rural areas, tasks related to health and education, and gendarmes, who stopped a vehicle in which the muhtar was a passenger, requesting a breath alcohol test. 

The muhtar of Akdam village Mustafa U., along with the driver of the vehicle, were arrested for allegedly resisting the arrest and insulting the Turkish president. 

Insulting the president carries a sentence between one and four years, according to the Turkish Penal Code.

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