Far-right MHP mayoral candidate arrested for insulting Erdoğan

A far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) mayoral candidate in the northern province of Zonguldak’s was arrested on Saturday for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, independent news site T24 reported.

Former police chief Cevdet Aldağ, who is running for mayor in the town of Karaman, was detained by provincial gendarmerie forces for allegedly insulting the Turkish president in a social media post on Nov. 26, 2018, T24 said.

The arrest follows an investigation by the Zonguldak Chief Prosecutor’s office over the post.

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

The Turkish government has been using social media posts, cartoons, news and articles as evidence for insulting the president and thousands of people have been facing prison sentences.

Aldağ’s party, MHP, announced it will support the candidates of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir- all of which are key cities - in the local elections set to take place on March 31, as part of an ongoing alliance between the AKP and MHP.