Turkish Man Sues Wife for Insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a joint press conference with European Council President in Ankara, Turkey, September 9, 2015.

A Turkish man has sued his wife for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkish Penal Code Article 299 makes it “a criminal offense to insult the president.” The offender may receive one to four years in prison.

The man, identified as Ali D., told his wife to stop insulting Erdoğan when he made appearances on television or he would file a complaint against her. She continued and even told him to record her to lodge a complaint.

He obliged and recorded her swearing at Erdoğan on the television.

“I kept on warning her, saying why are you doing this? Our president is a good person and did good things for Turkey,” insisted Ali.

He filed the complaint in the İzmir province. She responded by filing for divorce.

“I would file a criminal complaint even if I had a father insulting and swearing at the president,” he said.

Erdoğan has launched numerous complaints against people who insulted him since his time as prime minister.

Last month, the authorities opened an investigation into the editor and producer of CNN Turk’s morning program after Turkey’s Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, allegedly called Erdoğan a dictator.

Erdoğan took his rival to court in September 2015 after Kılıçdaroğlu played “leaked tape recordings involving corruption claims that engulfed former government officials during his tenure as prime minister.”

A year ago, officials arrested former Miss Turkey Merve Buyuksarac because she quoted a poem on social media that insulted the president.

Police also arrested a 13-year-old boy during class over an insult against Erdoğan on Facebook.

A few weeks later, a court sentenced two cartoonists to 11 months in prison over a cartoon that implied the president is a homosexual.

The government forced a private firm to fire a custodial staffer after she allegedly insulted Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu on Facebook. Initially, the firm refused to fire her but changed its mind when officials threatened to award the cleaning contract to another firm.

Authorities detained a 17-year-old at the end of last year for allegedly mocking the president on Facebook.

A court sentenced Filiz Akinci to 11 months and 20 days in prison over an obscene hand gesture she allegedly made two years ago towards then-Prime Minister Erdoğan.

Last September, police officers raided Turkish magazine Nokta after it published an illustration of Erdoğan taking a selfie next to a soldier’s coffin. The officers also seized remaining copies from the newsroom.

On September 4, police ransacked the offices of opposition paper Bugün after the publication ran a story that claimed Turkey sent weapons to the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Syria. The paper included pictures that allegedly show the weapon exchange.

Only a few days later, angry supporters of the Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and a member of Parliament attacked the officers of Hürriyet with stones and shouted, “God is great,” after the publication tweeted Erdoğan’s remarks about the PKK. The outlet deleted the tweet but face a probe for allegedly insulting the president. Editor-in-chief Sedat Ergin condemned the attacks.