Turkish man receives 13 years and nine months for flag insult
by Anadolu Agency
ANKARAMar 27, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Mar 27, 2015 12:00 am
A Turkish man has been sentenced to 13 years and nine months in prison for insulting Turkey's national flag during a protest in southeastern Diyarbakır province last June.
A high court in Diyarbakir sentenced Omer M. for the incident on counts of "committing crime in the name of an armed terrorist organization although not being an official member" for six years and three months; "insulting state's sovereignty symbols" for three years and one month; "entering a forbidden military zone" for two years and six months; "making propaganda for a terrorist organization by covering face" for one year and three months; and "opposition to meeting and rally law" for seven months and 15 days.
In his defense, the defendant said, "I have nothing to say."
Early February, in one of his hearings, Ömer M. denied being a member of any terrorist organization. "This flag is our flag. It is a flag made of the blood of our martyrs. I just lost myself at that moment. I did what I did without realizing it," he was quoted as saying.
The incident for which Omer was charged took place on June 10, 2014, following the funerals of two protesters, who were killed during a protest against the construction of a military outpost in the southeastern Lice district of Diyarbakır.
Ömer M. was later arrested by the Diyarbakır Police Department.
On June 7, two protesters died after security forces intervened in a demonstration held by a pro-Kurdish group who had attempted to block the road between Diyarbakır and Bingöl provinces, and who had hurled hand-made grenades and stones at security forces.