Middle East

Former Miss Turkey faces prison for 'insulting' Erdogan

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses a news conference in Somalia's capital Mogadishu January 25, 2015. (REUTERS/Feisal Omar)

ANKARA: The lawyer for a model and former Miss Turkey says she could face up to two years in prison for social media posts that prosecutors have deemed to be critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Emre Telci said Wednesday an Istanbul prosecutor is demanding that Merve Buyuksarac be prosecuted on charges of insulting a public official. A court will decide whether to start proceedings.

Buyuksarac was detained last month for sharing a satirical poem on her Instagram account. She denies insulting Erdogan.

She becomes the latest figure to face trial for insulting Erdogan, amid fear the country is lurching toward authoritarian rule.

In recent years, Turkey has curbed media freedoms, cracked down on critical social media postings and prosecuted hundreds of people who took part in mass anti-government protests.

 

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