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May 24
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed criminal complaints against two deputies from the main opposition People's Republican Party (PRP) on charges of "insulting the president," according to a new website Diken.

MPs Engin Ozkoç and Aykut Erdoğdu are accused of insulting the Turkish leader in remarks made in a television program.

Turkish police on Sunday arrested journalist Sedef Kabas on charges of "insulting the president" over a statement she made during the same program on the TELE1.

According to the complaint, the statements of the MPs do not fall under the category of freedom of speech and constitute an insult and a violation of personal rights.

Turkey's media supervision service fined TELE1 on Monday for a program that criticized Erdogan and his government, BBC Turkish reported.

According to Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code, insulting the president is a crime and carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

Investigations and convictions under Article 299 have increased dramatically since Erdogan became president in 2014.

According to a 2021 report based on data from the Justice Department, the number of lawsuits for insulting the president has increased 9,000 percent since 2010.

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