A court in Turkey on Friday sentenced a filmmaker to six years in prison for producing a feature film that portrayed President Tayyip Erdogan having a gun pointed in his head as his family lay dead all around him.
Ali Avci was arrested in 2017 after the release of a trailer for his film “Awakening”, based on a failed military putsch in 2016 in which more than 250 people were killed.
The trailer caused public uproar with sequences showing Erdogan’s family, including his son-in-law, Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, shot dead, and an army officer pointing a gun at the back of the president’s head as he prayed.
An Istanbul court sentenced Avci to six years and three months in jail for belonging to the network of U.S.-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey.
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Gulen denies Turkey’s accusation that he masterminded the coup attempt.
The court said Avci had been carrying out “public perception management in line with the core goals of the terrorist organisation” through his movie.
Avci denied the charges and said Erdogan himself had repeatedly said he was the target of the failed putsch, which included air strikes on the presidential palace in Ankara, although Erdogan was absent at the time.
“If I was trying to make terrorist propaganda, I would have shown Erdogan making plans to flee, instead of the praying scene,” Avci told the court.
More than 50,000 people have been jailed pending trial and 150,000 state workers including teachers, judges and soldiers have been suspended or dismissed after the coup attempt.
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Tunisia: former President Ben Ali confirmed dead
All time, former Tunisia’s President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali has died in exile aged 83, his family says.
Ben Ali led the country for 30years and was credited with delivering stability and some economic prosperity.
But he received widespread criticism for suppressing political freedoms and for widespread corruption.
In 2011, he was forced from office following mass street protests. This triggered a wave of similar uprisings across the Arab world.
At least half a dozen countries in the region saw their president fall or conflicts break out in the wake of the former Tunisian leader’s downfall, in what became known as the Arab Spring.
Gantz refuse’s Netanyahu offer on unity government
After a vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival.
Israel’s weakened Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw his offer on Thursday for a coalition with his strongest political rival, Gantz, swiftly rebuffed after failing to secure a governing majority in a tight election.
Netanyahu’s surprise move was an abrupt change of strategy for the right-wing leader. Its rejection could spell weeks of wrangling after Tuesday’s election, which followed an inconclusive national ballot in April.
Gantz’s centrist Blue and White party emerged from the second round of voting this year slightly ahead of Netanyahu’s Likud, but also short of enough supporters in the 120-member parliament for a ruling bloc.
Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, said in a video clip in which he urged Gantz, the country’s former military chief, to meet him “as soon as today”, that he had pledged during the election campaign to form a right-wing, Likud-led government.
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