Turkey detains two over TikTok video 'insulting the Turkish state'

Turkey detains two over TikTok video 'insulting the Turkish state'
The satirical TikTok video made fun of ways in which a Turkish passport can be used.
2 min read
29 April, 2021
The two are now banned from traveling abroad [Getty]
Turkish authorities detained two people on Wednesday over a viral TikTok video that prosecutors said "insulted" the state due to the use of a Turkish passport.

The suspects, identified by their initials K.O. and N.Y. by authorities, were later released from custody but banned from traveling abroad pending further criminal investigation.

The two were referred to the courts on the charge of "insulting or degrading symbols of state sovereignity", an offence in Turkey's criminal code that is subject to a prison term ranging from six months to three years.

K.O. and N.Y. were detained after a video published on the now-removed TikTok account @kamuranazlican went viral on social media. It is not clear whether the account was removed by authorities or deleted by its owners.

The video jokingly shows "places where the Turkish passport can be used" - not countries, but as a bookmark, oven mitt and coaster.

The TikTok video racked up tens of thousands of views, both on the platform and on other social media including Twitter, sparking angry replies from some who believe the video "denigrated the Turkish flag and passport".

K.O. told the prosecutor's office the two "regretted" that the video had been "misunderstood" by social media users.

"We didn't intend to insult the passport of the Republic of Turkey and the Turkish flag. We are people who love their homeland and nation," K.O. was quoted as saying by local media.

The video was meant to make fun of the fact Turkish citizens were unable to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, K.O. said.

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