290 children among nearly 10,000 people that stood trial in 2020 for 'insulting the president' in Turkey - CHP MP

About 290 children were among the nearly 10,000 Turkish citizens who stood trial on charges of insulting the president in 2020, Bianet English reported on Wednesday, citing a claim from an opposition politician. 

According to figures compiled by main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu, lawsuits were filed against 9,773 people, including 290 children last year alone. Eighty four of those children were between the ages of 12 and 15 while the remainder were between 15 and 18, he said on his Youtube channel.

"President [Erdogan] pressed charges against 290 children. He brought them to the court. He will get compensation from them, have them convicted and then he will be happy," said Tanrıkulu. "Is he aware of these? Does he do these himself or do his attorneys do these?"

Among the people who stood trial for insulting the president, 3,655 were convicted and 3,736 were given a deferred sentence, said Tanrıkulu. He added that only 14 percent of those facing the charge of insulting the president were acquitted at trial compared to 60 to 70 percent for other crimes.

Legal cases on charges of insulting the president have risen by 9,000 percent over the past nine years, according to data from the Justice Ministry’s Directorate General for Criminal Records and Statistics.

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.

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