Turkish user on twitter with the username of AllahCC, or with his real name Ertan P’s 15 months of prison sentence has been approved by Muş Penal Court, for the crime of insulting religious values of society. The court accused the user for pretending to act as Allah, his prophets, angels and act in their name. The accusation claims that “the user goes beyond atheism and insults religious values by acting so and tried to avoid punishment by stating that his account might have been hacked.”
Defendant Ertan P stated repeatedly that he was not the one to send tweets that are subject of accusations and that his account was hacked. He also added “I only used this nickname for some time, other people might have used it too.”
Another accusing lawyer responded to this saying “although the defendant states that his account was hacked, he did not apply to courts to make a legal complaint of this hacking, thus it must be him who has continued to commit this crime.”
The judge sentenced Ertan P to 8 months of prison sentence; however as this “crime” was committed through media means, the penalty has been expanded to 15 months in prison without any legal remission. As the judge did not saw a proof that a similar “crime” would not be committed again, he saw no need to postpone execution of the penalty. Moreover, judge has decided for Ertan P, who was a teacher employed by state schools, to be stripped off his right to become a state employee.
Although it is a controversial issue when it comes to religious values and freedom of speech, this might still be considered in terms of freedom of expression of a citizen using an anonymous account and using humor. On the other hand open hate speech and call for violence towards other religious groups in the country has never received any such punishment. Christians, Jews, Alevis, Yezidis, Mecusis, and all others might expect a similar protection from courts as well.