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Journalist jailed for insulting Erdogan

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Istanbul (AP) – A well-known Turkish journalist has been sentenced to prison for publicly quoting a proverb about an ox in a palace.

An Istanbul court found Sedef Kabas guilty of insulting the president and sentenced him to two years and four months in prison, the MLSA bar association said on Friday. Following the decision, Kabas was released. The court decided this in view of the month and a half he has already spent in custody and the amount of sentence imposed, the state-run Anadolu news agency wrote.

On a television program in January, the journalist denounced, among other things, the Turkish government’s harsh treatment of critics. There and later on Twitter, he quoted a proverb: “When an ox enters a palace, he does not become a king, but the palace becomes a stable.” He did not explicitly mention Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan or his presidential palace in Ankara.

According to the bar association, Kabas told the courtroom that he had not insulted the president but that he had the right to criticize the government. That is also his duty as a journalist.

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