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The students of Middle East Technical University (METU), who were arrested for a month due to a banner that they carried during the graduation ceremony and against whom a lawsuit has been filed on charge of "insulting the president", met with President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan yesterday (October 16).
After the meeting held at the Presidential Complex in Ankara, the attorney of Erdoğan submitted a petition to the Ankara 11th Penal Court of First Instance today, stating that they have withdrawn their criminal complaint.
Students attended the graduation ceremony, which was held on July 6, 2018, carrying a banner with the caricature "Kingdom of Tayyips", which was originally published on the Penguen comic magazine in 2005.
Three of the students were taken into custody on July 7 and one of them was taken into custody on July 9. The students were arrested on July 10, 2018. A lawsuit has been filed against four students who carried the banner and one person who printed it on charge of "insulting the president."
Students were released from prison on August 10.
Erdoğan and defamation cases
According to the BİA Media Monitoring Report in April-May-June 2018, in the stated three-month period, 16 journalists faced 74 years and 8 months in prison in total due to their opinions and criticism about President Erdoğan.
The Article no. 299 of the Turkish Penal Code, which started to be implemented for criticisms and allegations about Erdoğan since August 2014 when he was elected President, became the basis of sentences given to at least 42 journalists between the dates of August 2014 and July 1, 2018. (BK/SD)
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