Ece Heper is a fifty year old Canadian woman with dual Canadian-Turkish citizenship. She’s also currently among those who have been “detained” in prison by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Her crime? “Insulting” the president on social media. This is some seriously banana republic level activity, and now it’s affecting a citizen of a western nation. (National Post)
A Canadian woman has been arrested in Turkey for allegedly insulting the country’s president in comments posted on Facebook, her Turkish lawyer said Thursday.
Ece Heper, 50, was arrested in the city of Kars in northeastern Turkey, and charged on Dec. 30, Sertac Celikkaleli told The Canadian Press.
Heper, a dual Canadian-Turkish citizen, had been in the country since mid-November, according to her friends…
At issue, her friends and lawyer said, are several recent Facebook posts about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
So what were the “insults” she’s accused of hurling? Was she blaspheming the prophet, calling Erdogan names or insinuating that his mother worked in a brothel? No… she suggested that there was something wrong with locking up journalists who had reported stories indicating Erdogan may have been covertly working with forces sympathetic to ISIS. That’s what currently qualifies as an insult to the President of Turkey. And when you comment on someone else being disappeared, now we know what happens to you.
It’s also worth pointing out at this juncture that the “crime” of insulting Recep Tayyip Erdogan carries a three year prison sentence if you’re convicted.
We’ve known for some time now that Erdogan has been locking up not only journalists, but police chiefs and university professors by the tens of thousands. Human rights organizations have already reported that many of those among the disappeared are being tortured. And the tyrant has openly been lobbying for a change in the laws so that he can begin publicly executing his perceived enemies. None of this should come as a surprise because Erdogan has been telegraphing his punches since well before the attempted coup last summer.
And now a Canadian citizen has been dragged into his dungeons for the “crime” of posting an opinion on Facebook. Canada is a close ally of the United States. Will Barack Obama or John Kerry be doing anything about this? Or will they at least say something? Will Donald Trump step into this situation? It may already be far too late to prevent Recep Tayyip Erdogan from achieving his goals and to stop Turkey falling fully into tyranny, but that doesn’t mean that Americans or citizens of our allies should fall victim to his fits of pique and wind up in his dungeons.