4 ODTÜ students arrested over placard ‘insulting’ Erdoğan

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An Ankara court on Wednesday arrested four students from Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Ankara for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan by carrying a placard during the university’s graduation ceremony, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

According to the report, the three students who carried the placard and a student who prepared it were arrested by the court, while the person who printed it was released.

The students were detained over the weekend in an investigation launched after they carried a placard bearing a famous caricature of Erdoğan, called “Tayyipler Âlemi” (The World of Tayyips), during the university’s graduation ceremony on Friday.

The caricature was first published in 2006 by the Penguen political satire magazine, against which then-Prime Minister Erdoğan filed a lawsuit. However, an Ankara court had dismissed the suit, citing freedom of expression.

ODTÜ’s graduation ceremonies for years have had a tradition of humorous and critical placards about current political developments in Turkey.

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