Guy Who Passed Around Image Of Turkish President As Gollum Given Suspended Sentence, Loses Custody Of His Kids
from the it's-not-even-gollum dept
Remember this image?
That’s the meme that was (and still is) passed around on social media (rather gently) mocking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for looking kinda like Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Or, not even Gollum, but his nicer alter ego, Smeagol. Last we wrote about this, a Turkish court was assembling an expert panel to determine if that image is insulting to Erdogan. Since then, of course, we’ve learned just how insanely thin-skinned Erdogan is, having filed an average of over 100 actions against people for insulting him per month (how does he get any actual work done?).
The Gollum case, however, is partially done, with one person accused of passing around the meme, Rifat Cetin, given a 1 year jail sentence, but having it suspended for five years — meaning if he breaks no other laws in the next five years, he won’t have to go to jail. He does, however, lose custody of his kids, which seems pretty damn harsh for sending around a simple (and not very insulting) internet meme. And this is actually a different case than the one we discussed earlier — it’s just that there were multiple lawsuits over the same image.
Cetin is going to appeal, not on the basis of “WTF, I don’t even…” which should be the standard here, but on the technicality that Erdogan was actually Prime Minister at the time the image was posted, rather than President — and the law is only against insulting the President.
Either way, all this has done, of course, is get more people to post and share that image over and over and over again. You’d think that “growing a thicker skin” might be a better overall strategy. But, then again, I’m not the President of Turkey, so what do I know?