Man faces two years in prison for saying Turkey's president looks like Gollum


#1

[Read the post]


#2

If you can go to jail for insulting someone, I think that tells everyone quite clearly what sort of person they are.


#3

Well I have to admit there is a bit of a resemblance.


#4

The man should have been exiled instead giving Erdogan the opportunity to say, “Leave now and never come back! Leave now and never come back!!”


#5

So they’re not laying Smeagoling charges?

This type of story is starting to get a Ring of familiarity to it. I’m starting to Sauron them.

God forbid someone hurt Erdogan’s precious feelings.

…

I’ll see myself out.


#6

I do not believe this is Erdogan being thin-skinned. Have a look at this…

This did not start in 2005. This is a strange Turkish thing. It dates back to the days of Ataturk, at least. If you insult the Turkish people then you are lowlife, you are a criminal. Insulting the Turkish people may include things such as writing about the Armenian Genocide. I think this rather extreme pride in your country is a bit scary to the rest of Europe, but it is what they will have known all their lives.

Maybe someone Turkish can explain it better…


#7

So what about Gollum’s feelings, Who the hell wants to be told they resemble Erdogan. Seems like they’re looking at this ass backwards in my opinion.


#8

You know, he’s got a point there!


#9

The irony is that Gollum actually looks more like Putin.


#10

Signs your country may have some problems in the democracy department: you risk jail for insulting the president.


#11

But why must stating a resemblance be considered an insult? I agree that it’s a lame law, but I don’t understand how they decide that the comparison is unfavorable.


#12

The German penal code defines similar crimes - I’m not aware that it’s used often (if at all): sections 90 - 90b.

I think laws punishing this are not that rare (see my example above) - but imo a democracy shouldn’t use (and codify!) such special interest laws.


#13

Yeah. Question is whether insulting the president by comparing her or him to Gollum would count as “defamation of the president”. And as you point out, whether or not a law is used also says a lot. Or in other words, whether you in fact do risk prison for insulting the president, or if it’s just a theoretical possibility.


#14

Maybe mix in a little Rodney Dangerfield.


#15

But it’s not even an explicit insult either. It doesn’t say anything about what either the poster or the president think about Gollum.

This sort of thing seems especially troubling where “leaders” may be ruthless, yet feel a need for careful “perception management”.


#16

Well, we’ll have to see how the turkish law feels about that nitty gritty little detail.


#17

Good, you should be ashamed of yours elf. Your puns have become a nasty hobbit and they are nazgul. They never were cool.


#18

How is it mere “detail” that they didn’t actually say anything about the president? For a law about insults to be realistic, they need to define what constitutes an insult. Otherwise it is merely capricious guesswork.

Consider the difference between:

The first expresses actual criticism, it is actually speaking against Putin, so can easily be decried as an insult if somebody chose to be petty. While the second contains no actual criticism, any meaning would need to require implicitly knowing both what Putin thinks of Genghis Khan, and whether or not he wanted people to see him this way. To some people, it could be an insult, to others it could be a complement. It contains no value judgements in itself.


#19

Do we have an extradition treaty with Turkey because I’m pretty sure anything I’d have to say about this apt comparison would violate Turkish law?


#20

What’s the difference between Gollum and Erdogan?
One is a slimy creature.
The other one is a fictional character.