Turkish Cypriot newspaper publisher jailed for one year in prison by Turkish court for insulting President Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish Cypriot newspaper publisher Sener Levent has been sentenced to one year in jail with an option of a fine of 9,000TL for insulting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in a cartoon printed in 2017.

The sentence was announced by Levent himself on social media on Tuesday, where he wrote “the criminal case filed against me in Ankara has been concluded and I was informed of the court’s decision this morning”.

He proceeded to say that he was sentenced to one year in jail for insulting the Turkish president in cartoon published on December 8, 2017 in the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Avrupa. The cartoon depicted an ancient Greek statue urinating on Erdogan’s head.

For the same case, Levent was tried and acquitted by a Turkish Cypriot court in 2019.

But Turkey did not recognise the decision of the court and filed the same case in Ankara without Levent being physically present at the proceedings.

“Just as they do not recognise the decision of our ‘court’, I do not recognise the decision of their court,” he said, adding that justice is “already dead in Turkey”.

Later on Tuesday, news broke out that the one-year prison sentence has been converted into a judicial fine of 9,000 TL by the court.

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