Turkey: Investigations into Erdoğan filter in viral video

The authors of a TikTok clip now face arrest for a gag about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Turkish authorities have launched an investigation into videos posted using a filter with Erdoğan’s likeness. The Istanbul Prosecutor General’s Office has taken steps to “insult the president” against those responsible for the “insulting” video, the state news agency Anadolu reported on Thursday. The police have been asked to identify and arrest the suspects.

The video shows people holding or counting wads of cash . As soon as the Turkish president suddenly appears from behind in the form of a filter, they bring their money to safety, annoyed or frightened. “Get your foreign currency and gold from under your pillow,” Erdoğan is heard to say. An indication that in the past he had repeatedly encouraged the Turkish population to invest their savings in banks to prop up the ailing Turkish lira. According to Turkish media, the video was created on TikTok and then quickly spread on social media.

There is a risk of imprisonment of up to four years

The authorities are currently checking which users have created or shared the videos, a spokesman for the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office of the German Press Agency. The basis of the investigation is article in the Criminal Code, which provides for prison sentences of up to four years.

The Turkish government was recently accused of controlling social media wanting to expand. The opposition fears that the so-called disinformation law will lead to stricter censorship on the internet. The Turkish parliament is expected to vote on the draft law in the next few weeks.

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