Urgent Action update: Students released but still facing charges in Turkey

An Ankara court has ordered the release on bail of four students from the Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) in Turkey. They had been detained for more than a month for ‘insulting the President’ over a banner displaying a caricature of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They face up to four years in prison if found guilty. The first hearing of the trial will be held on 22 October.

Please write immediately in English, Turkish or your own language calling on the Turkish authorities to:

  • Ensure that all charges against the students are dropped;
  • Repeal Articles 299 (‘insulting the president’) and 125 (‘criminal defamation’) of the Turkish Penal Code which unfairly restrict the right to freedom of expression as guaranteed under international human rights law;
  • Ensure full respect and protection of the right to freedom of expression in Turkey.


Minister of Justice
Abdulhamit Gül
Ministry of Justice
Adalet Bakanlığı
06659 Ankara
Fax: +90 (0) 312 419 33 70
Email: ozelkalem@adalet.gov.tr
Salutation: Dear Minister

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. HIS EXCELLENCY MR ABDURRAHMAN BİLGİҪ, Embassy of the Republic of Turkey, 43 Belgrave Square SW1X 8PA, 020 7393 0202, embassy.london@mfa.gov.tr

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.


Download full UA in PDF