According to Sezgin Tanrıkulu, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), some 45,000 people were investigated for „insulting the president“ last year.
Indictments were filed against 9,773 people, including 290 children, Tanrıkulu said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Eighty-four of the 290 children were in the 12- to 15-year-old age group and 206 in the 15- to 18-year-old age group, he said.
„The president has had charges filed against 290 children. He has dragged them before the court. He will get some compensation from them, have them convicted and then he will be happy,“ Tanrıkulu said. „Is he aware of this? Is he doing it himself or is his lawyers doing it?“
Of the people tried for insulting the president, 3,655 were convicted and 3,736 received a suspended sentence, Tanrıkulu said.
While the cases against 1,013 people were dropped, only 14 percent of the accused were acquitted, the deputy stressed.
“ So if the president filed charges and a case is filed against you, you have no chance of being acquitted. While the acquittal rate for other crimes is 60 or 70 percent, for insulting the president it is 14 percent,“ he noted.
The law on insulting the president became increasingly common after the election of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2014.