Trouble with TikTok videos: Turkey is investigating Erdogan’s filters online

Trouble with TikTok videos: Turkey is investigating Erdogan's filters online

Tiktok videos cause trouble
Turkey is investigating Erdogan’s filters online

A new filter is causing a sensation on social media: Several videos show Turkish President Erdogan surprising people while counting money – a nod to Erdogan’s recent austerity appeals. The Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the “insult to the president.” There is a risk of imprisonment of up to four years.

Authorities have launched an investigation into videos on social media with a filter depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. State news agency Anadolu reported that the Istanbul Prosecutor General’s office has taken steps to “insult the president” against those responsible for the “derogatory” video. The police have been asked to identify the accused and make arrests at the earliest.

Videos showed people holding or counting a cushion of cash. As the Turkish president suddenly appears from behind as a filter, he angrily takes his money to safety. “Get your foreign currency and gold out from under your pillow,” the president is later heard saying. A sign that in the past Erdogan had repeatedly encouraged the Turkish population to deposit their savings in banks to promote the ailing Turkish lira. The government has been fighting inflation and depreciation of the national currency for months.

According to Turkish media, the video was made on Tiktok and then quickly spread on social media. A spokesman for the Istanbul Prosecutor General’s Office confirmed that authorities are currently investigating which users created or shared the video. The basis of the investigation is Article 299 of the Criminal Code, which provides for a jail term of up to four years.

Recently, the Turkish government was accused of expanding its control of social media. The opposition fears that the so-called propaganda law will lead to stricter censorship on the Internet. Turkey’s parliament is expected to vote on the draft law in the next few weeks.

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