Former Turkish Prime Minister Feyzi Isbasaran has been sentenced to almost three years of imprisonment for posting tweets insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The former Justice and Development Party deputy was charged with slandering Erdogan and his family on Twitter. An Istanbul court sentenced Isbasaran to two years and ten months in prison on Thursday.
The tweets that were deemed offensive to the president and his family have since been deleted from Isbasaran’s Twitter account. However, investigations confirmed that they were posted from a tablet and a cell phone belonging to the former AK deputy.
According to the indictment, Isbasaran used severe profanity against the Turkish president and his wife, though he has claimed in defense that it was a misunderstanding and the tweets were actually addressed to a person named A.O.
The politician was detained on Dec. 8 but was released soon after to face trial in January. On the day of Isbasaran’s arrest, two AK Party supporters holding banners stating “All of us are Tayyip’s soldiers” attacked Isbaran when he was being led inside the Beyoglu Police Station; both the attackers were taken into custody.
The president isn't a fan of Isbasaran either, even branding him as traitor on occasion.
Erdogan has been known to have no tolerance for any concept of freedom of speech. In February 2015, a 13-year old boy was also arrested for criticizing Erdogan on Facebook.