Friday, March 6, 2015

Model and 16-year old boy Arrested and Charged with Insulting Turkey's President


1st Photo, from a site's article I've pasted rather than linked because you should read it, is from

2nd Photo: Former Ms. Turkey, Merve Büyüksaraç, from The London Telegraph, at this website, pasted here instead of linked, because you should really read it:

Right now there's another brimming totalitarian regime in the making.  It's in Turkey, where Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, has briefly imprisoned this woman, and who has officially charged her with the crime of criticizing and insulting him.  Ms. Büyüksaraç copied a poem to her Instagram account that over 900,000 other Turkey citizens had shared--yet she has been the only one to be charged with a crime for it.  If convicted, she could serve up to 2 years in prison.

According to the article linked above, "Ms Büyüksaraç shared a quote from the satirical The Master's Poem - in which verses from the Turkish national anthem are used to criticise Mr Erdoğan.
The 26-year-old said she "may have quoted a poem" believed to be from Uykusuz, a Turkish satirical magazine, but soon deleted it after a friend warned her she could have committed a crime."

I am currently looking for this poem, which may also have a different title.  I searched for about 1/2 hour online, to no avail.  If anyone can find it, please comment and let me know so I can put it here as a show of solidarity and of freedom of speech.  (It's okay if it's in a language we can't read; it's the point that counts here.) 

During his time in power, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also:

--blocked Twitter and YouTube for a month, last year

According to the linked article:  "The decision to block Twitter in March 2014 came after audio recordings allegedly revealed corruption among those close to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the then Turkish prime minister. They had been widely shared on Twitter. It was a tense period ahead of the country's local elections and despite the outrage and upset the ban caused, the leading Justice and Development Party (AKP) won the majority of votes. Mr Erdoğan became president in August."

--charged a 16-year old boy with the same crime.  According to this site, "In a case that attracted wide attention, teenage schoolboy Mehmet Emin Altunses will go on trial on March 6 on charges of insulting the president in a speech in the conservative Anatolian city of Konya."  In a more specific article, from The Guardian, a Pulitzer-prize winning paper: "The 16-year-old student, Mehmet Emin Altunses, was taken away from his school on Wednesday and jailed for making a speech during a student protest in which he reportedly said Erdoğan was regarded as the “thieving owner of the illegal palace”."

--built the "palace" the boy referred to.  This palace--home of Turkey's President, not king--is "the world's biggest palace" and is outlined in this article:

"It boasts 1,000 rooms and has a total floor area of 3.1 million square feet. This makes it four times the size of Versailles, home of the lavish Louis XIV, the “Sun King” of France. Buckingham Palace only has 775 rooms. In Turkish, it's called the Ak Saray - White Palace - and, as the Telegraph's David Blair points out, the "quixotic architectural style seems to cross the Ottoman and Seljuk traditions with that of a modern Chinese railway station". Then there's the silk wallpaper.
The former Turkish prime minister also spent £115 million on a new presidential jet."

The palace looks like this inside (and that's the man you're reading about):

--ordered armed policemen to stand outside a newspaper's office and inspect copies to make sure it did not publish what the government considered a dangerous photo from Paris's magazine Charlie Hebdo.  That magazine had itself come under attack by extremists, and many of its writers and other employees had been shot and killed.  Consider this quote, from

"Delivery trucks leaving the offices of Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, based in Istanbul, were stopped by police after the publication revealed plans to publish cartoons from the French weekly.
The trucks were only allowed to pass after armed officers confirmed the French magazines' controversial front cover not been included in the newspaper."

And the photos from that site:

I say that any country that tells armed policemen to stand outside of a newspaper's office is not a free country, and it does not have freedom of speech.  Any country that restricts internet and social media access to its citizens is not a free country.  Any country that arrests a former model for sharing a post that over 900,000 other Turkish citizens had also shared is not a free country.  Any country that arrests a 16-year old boy from his classroom because he had the nerve to question the ultra-lavish abode of his non-monarchy, is not a free country.  This is odd, because Turkey actually is a free, non-secular (for now) country.  Its leader is a president, not a king or religious leader.

But for how long?

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