dpa /GNA – Two famous septuagenarian Turkish actors were acquitted on Monday in their trial, for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state news agency Anadolu reported.
In December 2018, actors Mujdat Gezen and Metin Akpinar were accused of insulting Erdogan in a talk show on Halk TV, a broadcaster critical of the government.
The public prosecutor had sought prison sentences of up to four years and eight months for each.
But the court in Istanbul ruled that there was no concrete proof that a crime had been committed in the first place.
Akpinar had spoken of the need for democracy in Turkey and blamed the country’s growing polarization on Erdogan’s ruling party.
To make Turkey more democratic, “maybe leaders will be hung by their feet or poisoned in cellars and die,” just like the “fascist” regimes in the past, he reportedly said.
Earlier that year, Erdogan had acquired sweeping powers as the first executive president.
The president subsequently said they would have to “pay for this,” without calling out the actors by name.