Zaytung is a Turkish satirical news network. The crew behind Zaytung has been writing funny parody versions of real news, creating absurd-fake stories, mostly generating hilarious satirical pieces for years. With the Turkish media’s fall into government’s hands, mainstream media has been surpassing Zaytung in parody-appearance more and more. Many citizens confuse Zaytung with other kinds of media sources, as the distinction between mainstream media and satirical news is blurring. Most recently, a university student has been sentenced to one year prison sentence for sharing an article from Zaytung, regarding –by then- governor of Adana Province, Avni Coş.
The article in question is from the Republic Day celebrations, showing a photo of the governor with the title “Governor Coş has more force than the President and has declared autonomy in the province he governs.”
Governor Coş had become known nationally after he had called a protestor citizen “gavat” which means “whoremonger who sells his wife”. Governor Coş now occupies the news agenda with taking the Zaytung news seriously. Governor and the prosecutor who handled the case sued the university student for sharing the satirical news online and freshman student Meral Tutcalı from Anatolian University Sociology Department received one year prison sentence for the crime of “insult to state officer”.
The student commented on the sentence and stated that this is just another step in silencing any kind of dissent and critical citizens by applying laws of pressure and intimidation.