Turkey issues arrest warrant for Armenian journalist Hayko Bagdat

Turkey issues arrest warrant for Armenian journalist Hayko Bagdat

PanARMENIAN.Net - An arrest warrant has been issued for exiled Turkish-Armenian journalist Hayko Bagdat "for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan", Turkey Purge reports.

Ahval reported on March 30 that a Turkish court issued the warrant in absentia since Bagdat failed to show up for his trial over a column he wrote back in 2015.

Bagdat, in his column, wrote that Erdogan targeted journalists as “traitors,” and “collaborators of foreigners.”

Bagdat currently lives in self-exile in Berlin as hundreds of his colleagues have been jailed in Turkey very recently.

“Due to some assassination rumors, I have been living under heavy protection in Germany,” Bagdat told media.

Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, according to Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Whoever insults the president can face up to four years in prison, a sentence that can be increased if the crime is committed through the mass media.

A total of 1,080 people were convicted of insulting Erdogan in 2016, according to data from Turkey’s Justice Ministry. Data also showed that 4,936 cases were launched against people on charges of insult in 2016.

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