Social media celebrity faces 7 years in prison for throwing Turkish lira down the toilet in video

Turkish prosecutors are seeking a prison sentence of more than seven years for a social media celebrity who was briefly detained in late October after posting a video on Instagram in which she flushed 100 TL ($5.37) down the toilet, l Demirören news agency (DHA) reported on Friday.

“People throw money into streams and fountains in Europe, [and] nothing happens. Is it a crime because I put 100 liras in the sewers of my beautiful country? Mika Can Raun said in response to people who asked her why she flushed the money down the toilet in the video posted on October 21.

According to the DHA, the internet personality is accused of having “insulted the memory of Atatürk”, the founder of Turkey, and of having “degraded the symbols of state sovereignty”.

Law 5816, titled “The Law Concerning Crimes Committed Against Atatürk”, in the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) protects “the memory of Atatürk” from insults by any Turkish citizen. An attack on the memory of Atatürk is punishable by up to three years in prison.

Raun’s Instagram post comes at a time when the pound has lost more than half its value against the dollar in the past year alone and has been the worst performer in emerging markets for several consecutive years largely due economic and monetary policy concerns under President Recep Tayyip. Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. The lira traded at 18.62 to the US dollar on Friday, down more than 28% year-to-date.

A Freedom House annual report on global internet freedom revealed in October that internet freedom continued to decline for the fourth consecutive year in Turkey and that thousands of online users, including members of the political opposition, were the subject of criminal proceedings for their activities on social networks. during the period covered.

Between June 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022, the reporting period, pro-government “troll rings” orchestrated smear campaigns against outspoken activists, and prominent journalists were victimized. physical violence for their online reporting, said Freedom House, adding that Turkey was rated as “Not Free”, scoring 32 points out of 100, up from 34 the previous year.

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