The 16-year old Turkish teenager arrested Wednesday for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been released. The boy, identified by his initials –MEA- got a reprieve after a court freed him, though still faces trial and a possible four-year sentence, if found guilty. He was said to called the president “the thieving owner of an illegal palace” in a speech commemorating the killing of a soldier in the 1920s. The boy’s verbiage in reference to the expansive and ostentatious 1,150-room palace inaugurated by the president in October.
There has been tension between secularism right crusaders and President Erdogan’s AK Party, which favours Islamic fundamentalism.
Defiant, the young boy was quoted to have said, “There is no question of taking a step back from our path, we will continue along this road,” while leaving the courtroom.
He was arrested for criticising the Islamic AK Party, the party of the president, during a speech in the central city of Konya. Turkey’s penal code makes it a crime to insult the president.