DID YOU KNOW THAT IN THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY, A CITIZEN CAN BE PROSECUTED FOR INSULTING THE PRESIDENT?
This situation has received some attention, and you may have heard about it, because of the obvious absurdity of it: in Turkey, a man is being prosecuted for comparing the president of the country to Gollum. Now that sounds pretty funny, but behind it is this inescapable fact: that country has a law that makes it illegal to defame the president. According to Lowering the Bar, it’s also illegal to insult the founder of modern Turkey, who has been dead for over 75 years.
Let that sink in for a minute. If you criticize the president, you can be charged with a crime. Who do you think controls the prosecutors in that country? If a prominent citizen, or especially a political opponent, says something about the president that the president doesn’t like, what do you think will happen? How can a country where you can be charged with a crime for saying something about the president be a functioning democracy?
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