Turkish President Erdogan's Dangerous Autocratic Tactics
By Adam Turner
Wednesday, 28 Jun 2017 12:15 PM Current | Bio | Archive
In 2016, Rifat Cetin, a Turkish doctor, received a suspended one-year jail sentence — he could have been imprisoned for up to five years — for violating Article 299 of Turkish law code, which bars insults to the Turkish President. The criminally insulting tweet in question compares President Erdogan to the villainous character of "Gollum" from the popular fantasy movie series, "Lord of the Rings." During the trial, Peter Jackson, the director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, intervened to testify that the images were no insult, as they actually depicted Smeagol, Gollum’s good alter-ego. The famous director’s statement may have been enough to get the doctor off, legally speaking, but in the end Mr. Cetin was still stripped of his parental custody rights, and was fired from his job.
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