Is Turkey at War With Free Speech? 100 Arrested for ‘Insulting’ Erdogan
Roughly a hundred Turkish citizens have been arrested across the country since January on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a new report from human rights advocates
The report, released by the Republican People’s Party (CHP), states that in the past ten months 98 people have been accused of slander, of which 68 were held on trial.
The total number of those who have been taken into custody over human rights issues in the period from January 1 through October 7 has reached 5,795 people, according to statistics contained in the report.
It also shed light on the restriction of web sources by Turkish authorities in the course of recent years. The paper reads that in a four-year period the number of blocked sites gradually increased annually; while in 2011 only 15,562 websites were blocked, in 2015 this number has reached 96,000.
The wave of arrests for allegedly insulting President Erdogan has swept the country since his election in August 2014, affecting opposition journalists and public figures, according to media reports. Among the most high-profile instances are media figures such as Sedef Kabas, Hidayet Karaca and Mehmet Baransu.