Veteran journalist Ahmet Altan facing two investigations for ‘insulting president’

Two separate investigations have been launched against journalist and author Ahmet Altan on charges of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
One of the investigations has been launched following a complaint from Erdoganand’s lawyer, while the other investigation has been launched by the Justice Ministryand’s General Directorate of Penal Affairs.
Erdoganand’s lawyer, Ahmet andOzel, claimed in his complaint that an interview with Altan posted on the news portal titled andquotThey are killing young people in order to live in palacesandquot has no news value and simply insults the president.
Altan, an outspoken critic of the government, has said on many occasions that young people in Turkey are being sent to their death due to Erdoganand’s ambitions to become a president with more executive powers, referring to the clashes between the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the terrorist Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK).
Turkey has seen a surge in acts of violence and terrorism in the country following the June 7 general election, which dealt a blow to Erdoganand’s aspirations to switch to a presidential system because the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) failed to win the necessary number of seats in Parliament to change the Constitution.
In the complaint, Erdoganand’s lawyer mentioned another interview with Altan dated April 15 in which Altan said: andquotHe [Erdogan] tells Kurds to accept a fascist dictatorship if they want peace. This is an immoral proposal.andquot
The lawyer said Altanand’s remarks include andquotinsults and accusations that are impossible to tolerate and are based on lies.andquot
The second investigation against Altan is based on a complaint filed by the Justice Ministryand’s General Directorate of Penal Affairs on Sept.4. Altan is accused of insulting the president during a TV program on Bugandun TV on Sept. 1 and on Samanyolu TV on Sept. 2. Altan criticized the AK Party and President Erdogan on the programs, which pro-government media outlets reported as threats against Erdogan.
The Ankara Public Prosecutorand’s Office accepted the news reports as justification for an investigation of the journalist for insulting the president and the government and inciting people to hatred and hostility.