Female teacher in Turkey sentenced to prison for making rude hand gesture

A female teacher in Turkey was sentenced to almost a year in prison today for hurting President Tayyip Erdogan’s feelings. She made an “ugly gesture” with her hand towards the leader at a political rally in 2014, and in Turkey it’s against the law to criticize official leaders, even if it’s with a quick hand movement.

The teacher isn’t the first to be under fire by Turkey’s sensitive leader. Last February BloombergBusiness reported that Erdogan had charged 67 people for insulting him – including Miss Turkey, who’d written a satirical poem about the president – which was an average of one person for every three days since he’d been elected president in 2014.

Notable Replies

  1. "Middle stage fascism" seems like a better fit.

  2. Sounds a lot like how the crowds would keep applauding Stalin for hours, because there were NKVD agents walking through the crowd, looking for the first person to stop clapping, so they could send him to siberia.

  3. If you can't stand tall, in public, and point out that your president is a corrupt [insert locally relevant epithet here] shit-stain, secure in the knowledge that the government will not retaliate, there is no sense in which you can be said to live in a free country.

    Lèse-majesté is so last millenium.

  4. Stalin is giving a speech in a small auditorium. During a pause, someone in the audience sneezes. Looking up, Stalin asks,

    "Who sneezed?"

    Noone answers. Stalin orders the guards to escort the last three rows of people outside, where they are executed. Stalin then asks,

    "Now, who sneezed?"

    Again, noone answers. Again, Stalin orders the guards to escort the last three rows outside. Shots are heard. Again, Stalin asks,

    "Now! Who sneezed??"

    A small, bespectacled man in the second row raises his hand and says,

    "Um, I did, comrade."

    To which Stalin replies,

    "Bless you."

    .... and then continues his speech.

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