- These TikTok videos that recreate NPC interactions from Skyrim are honestly incredible 6 Years Ago
- John Legend defends pro-consent ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ lyrics 6 Years Ago
- Video shows UC Berkeley student using racial slurs, making homophobic comments 6 Years Ago
- New video reveals Brother Nature instigated sandwich shop fight 6 Years Ago
- Lizzo’s thong dress breaks the internet Today 1:25 PM
- Pixel Buds 2 or Apple AirPods 2: Which are right for you? Today 1:09 PM
- It’s 2019: Make your holiday cards online, for free this year Today 12:47 PM
- Fighting over the ‘Marriage Story’ fight scene becomes a meme Today 12:41 PM
- ‘Trump is innocent!’: InfoWars correspondent interrupts impeachment hearing Today 12:12 PM
- Video shows runner smacking reporter’s butt on live TV Today 11:46 AM
- 27 senators call on Trump to fire Stephen Miller Today 11:13 AM
- Conservatives are fighting over whether porn is OK Today 10:39 AM
- The best in tech gifts for women this year Today 10:39 AM
- Why do the Golden Globes keep sidelining women filmmakers? Today 10:37 AM
- Netflix dominates with 34 Golden Globe nominations across TV and film Today 10:27 AM
Turkish journalist gets a 10-month jail sentence for a Twitter ‘typo’
“I’m quite a big man. My fingers are quite big as well. Sometimes you can’t properly hit all the letters.”
A Turkish columnist has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for a tweet that subtly told off Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, either as a cheeky pun or, as he says, a typo resulting from his big fingers.
Önder Aytaç, a journalist and former police academy instructor, was sentenced to a delayed 10-month prison sentence Monday by the Ankara First Criminal Court of Peace.
Twitter has long been a thorn in the side of Erdo?an, who has previously established his enormous distaste for the social network. And Aytaç is just the latest in a long line of Turks who face courtroom trouble for their tweets.
The tweet that got Aytaç in trouble was published September 2012, and it’s still online. It was barely seen—just six retweets as of this writing.
http://t.co/zYBEmYiD => Kapat be dershaneleri Ustaaaaammmmk!.. => yorumlariniz da yazinin altina lutfen
— DR. M. ÖNDER AYTAÇ (@onderaytac) September 20, 2012
It’s a link to a column he’d written, which blasts an educational program linked to Erdo?an. It’s an innocuous tweet, except there’s a hitch in that first sentence, “Kapat be dershaneleri Ustaaaaammmmk!”
Translated colloquially to English, it’s like Aytaç is saying “Close the prep schools, maaaaaaaate!” (The “mate” in question would be Erdo?an.) But that “K” doesn’t belong in that word. And “amk” can mean something like “fuck you.”
Aytaç said it was unequivocally a typo, a single superfluous letter from a year and a half ago.
“I’m quite a big man,” Aytaç told the Daily Dot. “My fingers are quite big as well. Sometimes you can’t properly hit all the letters.” He tweeted a followup Monday, which said that he would never actually insult Erdo?an.
Rights groups have condemned Aytaç’s sentence. “Irrespective of what [the tweet] says, nobody should be sent to prison for defamation/libel/insult,” Andrew Gardner, a Turkey researcher at Amnesty International, told the Daily Dot.
On April 21, Turkey began a massive trial against 29 people for the crime of allegedly tweeting protest details in 2013. A prominent Turkish pianist received a similar sentence to Aytaç for merely tweeting about his atheism. After two Twitter users began publishing documents damning to Erdo?an’s administration, the Turkish government blocked Twitter for most users for a few weeks, to middling success.
Aytaç said his next stop is the High Court, which will review whether his punishment was too severe for the crime.
Thanks to Ibrahim Vahab for translation help.
Photo by recursion_see_recursion/Flickr (CC BY 2.0) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III.
A former senior politics reporter for the Daily Dot, Kevin Collier focuses on privacy, cybersecurity, and issues of importance to the open internet. Since leaving the Daily Dot in March 2016, he has served as a reporter for Vocativ and a cybersecurity correspondent for BuzzFeed.