Sener Levent, Afrika Newspaper Editor, Faces 5 Years in Jail for Erdogan Insult

Sener Levent, Afrika Newspaper Editor, Faces 5 Years in Jail for Erdogan InsultReporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged the northern Cyprus government to acquit two journalists facing up to five years in prison on charges of insulting and defaming Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The court case is expected to conclude this week

Sener Levent, the editor of Turkish-language daily Afrika published in North Cyprus, and the paper’s reporter Ali Osman Tabak are on trial over a cartoon showing a Greek statue urinating on Erdogan’s head.

The image first appeared online at the time of the Turkish leader’s 2017 visit to Greece, and Afrika later published it with the caption “seen through Greek eyes”.

RSF said the two journalists are charged with defaming and insulting a foreign leader and “inciting hatred against a foreign leader with the aim of spoiling the friendly and peaceful relations between the two countries”.

Their lawyer, who will deliver their final arguments in court on Monday, will argue that they should be acquitted, his assistant said.

The journalists deny the charges and say the trial threatens freedom of expression and the press.

“I hope that the court’s decision will not be shameful for our society,” 70-year-old Levent said.

RSF said in a statement that convicting the journalists would be “a grave error and would send an extremely negative signal to the media in the northern part of Cyprus”.

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1 comment to Sener Levent, Afrika Newspaper Editor, Faces 5 Years in Jail for Erdogan Insult

  • Polly Marples

    Cannot have a decent honest man running a newspaper in the TRNC…he is too likely to tell the truth and that is not what the powers that be want.

    I wish you well Sener bey, but I fear they will hang you out to dry old friend.