A prosecutor demanded up to seven years in jail Wednesday for two people separately accused of insulting Turkey's founding leader, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, in cases that sparked public outcry.
Istanbul's Bakırköy Prosecutor's Office said the suspects were charged with "defamation of Atatürk's memory" and "inciting people to hatred and hostility."
Süleyman Yeşilyurt, a 68-year-old historian, was taken into custody Friday for claiming during a live TV broadcast that Atatürk had been romantically involved with his foster child, Afet İnan.
Turkey's Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) also applied its highest fine to the private TVnet channel Wednesday for the incident, which occurred during a show called Derin Tarih (Deep History), which Yeşilyurt appeared in as a host.
According to RTUK, the television program tarnished the reputation of Atatürk by commenting on his private life and by using the names and photos of women he was allegedly romantically involved with.
The second suspect, Hasan Akar, has remained at large since the Bakırköy court issued an arrest warrant for both men Thursday.
A video, which depicts Akar cursing Atatürk and his mother Zübeyde during a religious congregation, went viral after a Turkish TV network, Kanal D, picked up the story May 9.
The two cases prompted public outcry with both the government and the opposition strongly condemning the insults.
Following the incident, several large bookstore chains have also terminated their contracts with Derin Tarih magazine.
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