Turkish journalist receives jail sentence over Twitter post

A Turkish court has sentenced journalist Hakan Aygün to seven months in jail over a social media post, Diken news site reported on Tuesday.

Aygün was handed down a suspended sentence after being found guilty of “inciting enmity or hatred” and “insulting religious values” over a Twitter post in March 2020 in which he poked fun at the government’s pandemic aid drive by playing on the wording of an oft-repeated verse in the Qur’an.

Aygün was detained over the post on April 2, 2020 and arrested the next day, before being released in May.

The journalist took the matter to the Constitutional Court, which ruled last year that Aygün’s rights had been violated and that he be paid 40,000 liras ($5,334) in damages.

The journalist said he would appeal the ruling on the tweet, which he only re-posted.

“My dear country,” Aygün said with a smiley face on Twitter. “I have received my first jail sentence over a tweet which cannot be determined to have been from me despite a ruling from the Constitutional Court.”