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Turkish teen gets suspended sentence for insulting Erdogan

September 11, 2015

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A juvenile court has convicted a high school student of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and sentenced him to more than 11 months in jail.

The sentence was immediately suspended Friday, and the student would serve time only if he reoffends in the next three years.

The 16-year-old was briefly arrested in the city of Konya in December for calling Erdogan a thief during a student rally.

The boy can only be identified by his initials, M.E.A. due to Turkish laws protecting minors.

He is one of the youngest among dozens of people — including celebrities and journalists — to be prosecuted under a previously seldom-used law that bars insults to the president.

Free speech advocates say the law is being used aggressively to muffle dissent.

Update hourly