Turkish Student Gets One Year Suspended Sentence for Retweeting Satirical Article Mocking Governor

Turkey's crackdown on free expression continues



The Turkish government's crackdown on social media continues, with a 19-year-old sociology student, Meral Tutcali, reportedly receiving a one-year suspended sentence—because she did not have a prior criminal record—|for retweeting an article from the satirical Zaytung newspaper

Today's Zaman reports:

According to the Cumhuriyet daily, Meral Tutcal?, a student in the department of sociology at Eski?ehir Anatolian University, shared via Twitter on Oct. 6 a tweet sent by Zaytung which sarcastically stated that Governor Co? had declared his autonomy.

"Adana Governor Hüseyin Avni Co? is more influential than President [Recep Tayyip] Erdo?an. He has declared his autonomy," Zaytung said in the post.

Police reportedly went to Tutcal?'s house a few days after she had retweeted the message and took her to the police department for questioning.

The prosecution is just the latest in a broad campaign by the Turkish government to stifle free expression, from charging columnists with "inciting public hatred" for reprinting Charlie Hebdo Mohammed cartoons to sentencing cartoonists to jail time for depicting the Recep Erdogan, the former three-term prime minister who assumed the presidency last year, as a gay man.

From David Lepeska at Al-Jazeera America:

Turkey has consistently ranked among the world's leading jailers of journalists in recent years, and Erdogan has been challenging cartoonists in court for more than a decade. The current criminalization of satire dovetails with a media crackdown that has broadened since he became president in August.

Earlier this month, Turkey shut down Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, along with more than 160 websites, for publishing a photograph of a public prosecutor held hostage by armed leftists. Authorities threatened to block Google for the same offense. (The prosecutor was later killed during a shootout between his captors and the police.)

Turkey briefly tried to ban Twitter last year. Twitter says it's getting serious about trolls—Erdogan still has an account on the platform.

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  1. It’s easier to govern in Turkey.

  2. Did you know the letters in “Recep Erdogan” can be rearranged “Gonad Creeper”?

    1. rearranged *to read*

      1. Wow, the letters can also be rearranged to read “Pardon Greece.”

        1. I was going to give other examples, but I don’t think I’ll top that one.

          Thanks, anagram program!

      1. Not bad.

      2. I lol’d

  3. Should’ve let them into the EU. Then they’d be trying to prove their liberal credentials.

    1. Certainly no one in EU would be jailed for a tweet!

      1. Exactly. And they could’ve had the Turks yell at the Greeks.

        1. Ooh, a good Turko-Greek war to stimulate Greek economy and thus pull them out of the hole?

          I think there might be a Krugman blog in this!

          1. Broken historical monuments!

        2. Look, that’s nobody’s business but the Turks.

          1. Sigh. It took almost an hour to get to this?

          2. The young Turks or the older ones?

      2. Pan Zagloba|4.22.15 @ 2:37PM|#
        “Certainly no one in EU would be jailed for a tweet!”

        They’d just be murdered.

        1. That was sarcasm, as in fact, people have been jailed for tweets. I only pick up stuff in UK, but quick search finds:

          Pair Jailed for Tweeting At Feminist
          Racist jailed for 56 days

      3. If it were some kindergartner in the UK, and they tweeted ‘you’re all poopey heads’, then they’d just get on some list for the rest of the life.

  4. But don’t mention the Armenian genocide, because he’s our friend and we don’t want to upset him!

    1. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.

      1. I love that episode. Maybe the best sitcom episode ever.

        1. Cleese’s best work.

          1. Flowery Twats

  5. Thomas Friedman responded to this latest news be remarking that Turkey is “really getting things done in terms of alternative energy implementation, as the tears of liberty are extremely efficient in powering their wave pool generators. We could learn a lot from Erdogan.”

    Friedman ended the piece complaining about the high cost of construction when he recently tried to add a third bowling lane to his mansion.

  6. Perhaps NATO should start making noise about kicking them out. If only we didn’t have all our military interests tied up in the region and need their cooperation, that is. They know they’re in the catbird seat because of our adventurism. If we get involved with Syria, it will be even worse. Erdogan will have carte blanche to do whatever the fuck he wants.

    1. Except Turkey is not cooperating with US in Iraq or Syria, and have been allowing Iran to avoid sanctions for years. They are also prime entry point for Western ISIS recruits as well (and yes, they can do something about it, since Jordan is not). Erdogan just figured he can do whatever the fuck he wants because US foreign policy is run by idiots who show deference to enemies and arrogance to allies.

      1. If I were president, I would threaten to use the bully pulpit to get people to stop eating turkey for Christmas and Thanksgiving. That’ll teach them.

      2. They are cooperating. It’s called Incirlik.

        1. Nope. Latest news I could find was from March this year, a rumor that there are negotiations ongoing for Turkey to allow drones to strike against ISIS. However, that doesn’t seem to have been confirmed. So for now, no strikes from Incirlik. Only humanitarian flights allowed, and only non-armed planes are allowed through Turkish airspace.

          They did allow a damaged F-15 to land, but only because it was a matter of life and death.

          1. I assume you mean no armed US planes.

            Because I distinctly recall being at Ak?nc? when a bunch of F-16s hauled ass out of there, went south, and never came back (assuming they relocated to ?ncirlik or Konya) right around when things started getting interesting – fall of 2012ish?

            1. Yes, no armed US or other NATO planes, for purposes of strikes in Iraq and Syria. Presumably they wouldn’t mind transit through to Afghanistan or such. And, despite Erdogan’s distrust of military, he’s still not at “maybe if I just disarm the army” step 🙂

              1. I was in Turkey during some of the purges, including purges that touched the quasi-state company I was working with (at the highest levels). It was surreal and pretty unsettling, though day-to-day life at the bases wasn’t terribly affected.

        2. I believe we also sent them PAC-3 batteries from the Netherlands, manned by our guys (though that’s US cooperating with THEM). I know we have several missile emplacements around Gazientep as well, overlooking the border, manned by US troops.

  7. OT: bahahaha

    Gawker Headline: Nick Gillespie Is a Rich Son of a Bitch

    1. Of course, what Nick doesn’t do is get wealthy off of his government job. Kinda different. Shouldn’t a senior guy with publication/foundation make decent money?

      1. IT’s NOT FAIR!

        1. What’s not fair is having a government that steals or inhibits the creation of so much wealth that we are all far poorer than we could be. All for what? Some idiots getting cushy jobs in Washington where they can steal and reward their friends and constituents?

          It’s bad enough that the government is this massive parasite on our economy and society, but now we’re breeding a race of scavengers that scurry around the government’s maw, hoping some crumbs will fall their way.

          1. All for what? Some idiots getting cushy jobs in Washington where they can steal and reward their friends and constituents?

            Yes, that, exactly that. Nothing more to be said. You just explained the entire reason why the federal government exists in it’s current state.

            1. If only enough of us would realize that it’s all a scam, maybe something would change. As I get older, I realize more and more than we’re very detached from reality, we humans.

              1. The progressives know that something is wrong. The problem is that they expect the foxes to rescue the hen house.

                1. What’s wrong is the giant parasite sucking the life out of all of us, even those that think the parasite is the host.

    2. Wow. Those people are idiots. Where did Nick say he wasn’t doing okay? Besides this easily passes the “takes-one-to-know one test” which, as Gawker’s writers are all 10, they should grasp pretty easily.

    3. Holy fuck, he looks like Satan in that picture!

      1. Read the comments. He IS Satan.

        1. I just posted ‘Don’t read the comments’. Seriously, don’t.

          Libertarians only care about tax cuts for millionaires, that’s it! And they worship a woman who’s famous for selfishness!

          Where rock did those idiots crawl out from under?

          1. No shit. I read through a few, and the level of the comments is literally a fifth-grade cutfight.

        1. They should have just painted some horns on him.

        2. The Jacket is wearing him.

    4. TroiQuantum Suicide
      4/22/15 1:16pm

      Still more legit than Gawker being based out of the Cayman Islands.

      Quantum SuicideTroi
      4/22/15 2:22pm

      Then write an article about Gawker and tax evasion so I can read it, please, because as far as I know I was only commenting on the Gillespie (and by extension Reason/Cato) hypocrisy w/r/t utilization of government resources.

      It seems like you’re really in to bringing extraneous subjects into an article, so are there any non-related/extrapolated subjects you’d like to discuss here? (Because as far as I can see they bear little to no relevance.)

      1. I saw that. It’s “extraneous” when applied to Gawker, but not when applied to Nick. Do they even understand how stupid they sound?

        1. They sound so stupid that I’m very seriously doubting that they are sentient at all.

          1. I wouldn’t put it past Gawker to have some sort of random comment generator in place.

            1. The Derpomatic?

    5. EL34John Cook
      4/22/15 1:52pm

      Gillespie and Reason: O’Reilly and Fox for people under 60 who don’t use Skoal. In every conceivable way.


      1. Bush, but more sophisticated.

      2. Sounds like a compliment to me!

    6. Don’t read the comments there.

      1. Unless you want to be reminded that THIS IS WHAT THESE PEOPLE ACTUALLY BELIEVE.

        1. Their entire reasoning seems to be based on this:

          No matter how rich you are, it’s ok, as long as you ramble on and on about inequality and the evil rich, regardless of how insincere you are. Especially if you are a Democrat.

          If you are rich and you do not constantly squawk about evil rich and inequality, then you are evil, regardless of what you think about the issue, whether that is known or not. Especially if you’re not a Democrat!

          1. And right on cue, comes this tirade of drivel:

            John Cook
            4/22/15 12:54pm

            What Nick Gillespie doesn’t get is that DeBlasio at least SEEMS like he gives a fuck about income equality. Nick Gillespie just gives a shit about…what in the fuck do libertarians really give a shit about? I honestly can’t tell anymore.

            1. EXACTLY to Hyperion’s point, DeBlasio SEEMS like he gives a fuck! Better!!!!

            2. Well, it’s right there in the name, dude.

            3. It’s not our fault is John Cook is so fucking stupid that he doesn’t get it that DeBlasio does not give a fuck and the only reason he talks about non-stop is to keep himself, DeBlasio, in power so that he can become more like those 1 percenters that he goes on and on about.

              These people are beyond hope.

              1. Also, John Cook is a illiterate retard with his head up his arse. He obviously does not know what libertarians care about because he doesn’t dare take a look at this site to see. It might frighten him.

            4. “DeBlasio at least SEEMS like he gives a fuck about income equality”

              Once again these people are beyond parody.

      2. ApolloCreedenceClearwaterRevivalJohn Cook
        4/22/15 12:49pm

        In Christie’s defense there’s a huuuge difference between “rich” and “wealthy.” As Chris Rock once said, “Shaq is rich. The white man who signs his checks is wealthy.”

        1. This comment is interesting on many levels. Rock’s comment is truthful (putting aside shaq specifically). But what’s really interesting is it’s a rare moment when lefties (briefly) understand the difference between money and wealth. Why do they forget the difference everywhere else?

          1. Why do they forget the difference everywhere else?

            It’s inconvenient.

        2. I’m not sure that’s really in Christie’s “defense”. Sure, the words he used might not have been wrong, but that just means he has no concept of how to build wealth and is woefully unfit to govern.

        3. I say “rich” and “wealthy” mean more or less the same. The problem is equating income with wealth.

          1. I’m sure you get this, but the implication is the rich man has a lot of money but is generally uneducated and incapable of leveraging that money into structural wealth.

            Think of your drug addled rock star who’s getting ripped off by managers, producers and record companies.

            1. Yeah, that’s a distinction worth making.

    7. This is probably why Nick thinks a liberal arts degree is worth something.

      1. You do realize that the liberal arts include things like math and science and economics and history, right?

  8. I bet that poor student was really triggered.

    1. Everyone is triggered and frightened and feels unsafe. Once the cuckoos have managed to rid society of all the sane people who are left, then they can once and for all feel safe. Until the Islamic hordes arrive. But I guess when that happens, they can just ask them to not say mean things and all will be fine.

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