A journalist is on trial in Turkey for “insulting” President Erdogan’s wife for noting in a report that she was using a posh Hermes handbag worth over 40,000 GBP.
Journalist Ender Imrek appeared in court in the city of Istanbul on 24th June for writing an article that “did not attribute nice qualities” to Turkey’s First Lady.
He is also accused of “insulting” Emine Erdogan, 65, by criticising her use of a Hermes handbag worth 50,000 USD (40,195 GBP).
Imrek defiantly told the court: “This is a crime that doesn’t exist. According to the indictment, not praising Emine Erdogan is equal to insulting her.”
According to local media, the case is over a newspaper column published on 29th June 2019 titled ‘The Hermes Handbag Was Shining Bright’.
The accused journalist reportedly criticised the First Lady for using the posh bag when many citizens are suffering increasing poverty and unemployment.
At the time of the article, the cost of the Hermes bag was said to be the equivalent of 144 minimum wages.
Imrek told the court: “A Hermes handbag worth 50,000 USD is a subject of criticism when millions of people are poor, unemployed and hungry and when millions are trying to continue their lives with a minimum wage that’s below the hunger threshold.
“It’s a duty of a journalist to write about the situation of the president’s family, who are among the world’s richest.”
He also said that the accusation of “insulting” the First Lady by “not attributing nice qualities” to her was invented by the prosecutor.
The next hearing is scheduled for 8th October.
The Ananova page is created by and dedicated to professional, independent freelance journalists. It is a place for us to showcase our work. When our news is sold to our media partners, we will include the link here.