Imam jailed, pending trial over Ataturk insult

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By Melike Gallenkus

ISTANBUL

An Istanbul court on Tuesday ordered the detention of an imam for allegedly insulting Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Turkey’s first president and its founding father, according to a judicial source.

Hasan Akar was jailed by Istanbul’s 18th Penal Court of First Instance in Bakirkoy, and is currently awaiting trial, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

Akar, according to the indictment, faces from two-and-a-half to seven-and-a-half years in prison for defaming Ataturk’s memory and inciting public hatred and hostility.

After the court viewed an Internet video showing Akar openly swearing at Ataturk, he said he was sorry and regretful and asked to be tried without being jailed.

But the court turned him down, citing the flight risk.

On June 1, historian Suleyman Yesilyurt, 68, who was remanded into custody for allegedly insulting Ataturk, was released, but also faces a possible prison sentence




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