Prominent columnist Cengiz Çandar faces four years in jail for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in seven opinion pieces published on the Radikal news website.
The indictment prepared by Bakırköy Public Prosecutor Ertuğrul Sarıyar is based on a complaint filed by Erdoğan’s lawyer Ahmet Özel regarding seven of Çandar’s pieces published between July 26 and Aug. 19.
Çandar will be tried for violating Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). If found guilty he faces between one to four years in prison.
The trial will begin on April 7.
Speaking to news website T24, Çandar said he received the written notice on Feb. 26, which he noted coincided with both President Erdoğan’s birthday and “Can Dündar and Erdem Gül’s release from prison.”
Imprisoned daily Cumhuriyet journalists Dündar and Gül were released from pre-trial detention after 92 days of imprisonment, after Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that their rights had been violated.