Turkey may have a democratically elected government but its increasingly autocratic style is more reminiscent of monarchs and their Draconian rule.
The news out of Istanbul is that the local police has arrested two kids aged 12 and 13 just because they tore down a few posters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The two kids, whose names have not been disclosed, are cousins and now face charges of "insulting the Turkish president," Radikal.com.tr reports.
If the Justice Ministry sanctions the case against the duo and finds them guilty, then they will have to spend up to two years and four months in prison.
The cousins, who are being identified by their initials R.Y. and R.T., were taken into custody in May when they were spotted tearing down Erdogan's pictures in Diyarbakir.
Their actions weren't even politically motivated. The cousins testified that they took down the posters to sell them to a junk dealer.
“We did not care about whose posters they were. We just wanted to remove them in order to sell them to a junk dealer,” R.Y. said.
Apparently, the Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code outlaws the act of defaming of the Turkish president. And the kids above unknowingly did just that. With nothing better to do, the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office filed a criminal case, which was accepted by the court.
The defendants' attorney, Ismail Korkmaz, slammed the decision to take his young clients to court and reiterated that the kids didn't even know what they were doing.
“It is devastating to see two children being tried for tearing down a poster of the president,” he added.
In times when Turkey is at the forefront of a massive refugee crisis, it makes no sense to waste the country's resources on petty issues like this.