A 80-year-old Turkish actress is facing more than eight years in prison on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for several years on social media, according to Turkish media reports.
Nilüfer Aydan appeared at her first hearing before an İstanbul court on Tuesday. The actress told the judges that she suffered from high blood pressure and would not be able to present her defense.
According to the indictment Aydan’s social media messages from the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 include insults against the president.
Thousands of people in Turkey are under investigation, and most of them are under the threat of imprisonment, over alleged insults of President Erdoğan. The insult cases generally stem from social media posts shared by Erdoğan opponents. The Turkish police and judiciary perceive even the most minor criticism of Erdoğan or his government as an insult.
Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, according to the controversial Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Whoever insults the president can face up to four years in prison, a sentence that can be increased if the crime was committed through the mass media.