18.3 C
Frankfurt am Main

Turkish lawyer faces up to 3 years in prison due to remarks on Islamic law

Must read

Turkish prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of up to three years for a lawyer who was briefly detained earlier this week for insulting Sharia, the religious law that is part of the Islamic tradition, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Feyza Altun, whose detention has attracted widespread criticism, is facing charges in an indictment drafted by İstanbul prosecutors of inciting hatred and enmity among the people under Article 216 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK).

The 216th Article of the TCK says whoever openly incites segments of the society to enmity or hatred towards another group based on social class, race, religion or sectarian or regional differences in a manner that may present a clear and imminent danger to public safety shall be sentenced to imprisonment of between one and three years.

The indictment includes a definition of Sharia, describing it as the Islamic law based on the verses of the Quran, the Muslim holy book, and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Beykoz Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office launched the probe into Altun after she said “F*** Sharia” in response to a comment on a Persian poem she posted on X that said, “Feyza seems to have a Sharia attack,” referring to the phrase “panic attack.”

Altun deleted the post after being targeted on social media, with users launching a campaign with the hashtag “#feyzaaltuntutuklansın” (Feyza Altun should be arrested.)

In her testimony to prosecutors, Altun said she defines Sharia as a “political regime” and not a religious phenomenon. She said she is against Sharia and stands by her words.

Altun was released from jail Tuesday morning under judicial probation, which requires her to check in at a police station twice a week as well abide by a travel ban.

In the past few years, prosecutors have taken action against thousands of people in Turkey under Article 216 of the TCK, which is feared to be mostly used to silence dissent.

Many said the lawyer was being punished by the Islamic-rooted ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) merely for defending secularism, one of the principles of the Turkish Republic enshrined in the constitution.

Altun received messages of solidarity from various circles. Even Geert Wilders, an anti-Islamic Dutch politician, tweeted about her detention, saying in Turkish that she is a hero.

Meanwhile, Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet) filed a criminal complaint against Altun at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday on allegations of insulting religious values and inciting hatred and enmity among the people. The Diyanet claimed that Altun’s remarks on Islamic law contravene the Turkish Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights and that as a result, she must be prosecuted.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News