Three key journalists have had legal investigations started about them in three days for “insulting the president.” Daily Hürriyet columnist and former chief editor Ertuğrul Özkök, daily Zaman chief editor Ekrem Dumanlı and daily Bugün columnist Yavuz Baydar joined the large group numbering in hundreds who faced legal consequences for this offence since Recep Tayyip Erdoğan came into the office.
Özkök wrote a column on Aylan Kurdi on Friday titled “Shame on you, the great man” blaming “the dictator” for the baby’s fate. An investigation was started within hours for insulting the president against Özkök. The columnist wrote another column on Friday evening and said he meant Syrian President Bashar Assad when he said “dictator,” not Erdoğan. AKP parliamentary deputy Mehmet Metiner thereatened the journalist afterwards by saying: “Know your place or we know what to do with that sewer smelling mouth of yours.”
Dumanlı spoke on live television following the Koza İpek Holding raid on September 1 and his comments on that broadcast was put under investigation on September 4 for “insulting” and “threatening” the president.
The latest journalist who was put under investigation for “insulting” Erdoğan was Baydar on Saturday.