HufPo – A journalist is going to jail for typing one single wrong letter. Önder Aytaç, a Turkish columnist for an opposition newspaper, was sentenced to 10 months in prison Monday for “insulting public officials” after a tweet he wrote about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan contained a typo. Aytac claims that he meant to type “my chief,” but that by adding the letter “K” to the end of his message he accidentally told Erdogan to “screw off.” Aytac sent the tweet in September 2012 after news broke that Erdogan was planning to shut down private schools. Erdogan later sued Aytac for breaking Turkey’s restrictive defamation laws that prohibit insulting public officials. But Aytac has battled Erdogan’s laws before. He was detained one month prior over allegations that he was involved in the leak of a top secret meeting between officials over Syria. Aytaç’s sentencing comes just weeks after the Prime Minister threatened to “eradicate” social media in Turkey. In March, Erdogan pledged to “wipe out” Twitter and temporarily banned access to the site.
What a life if you are a public official in Turkey. People can’t say one letter of the alphabet bad about you without getting locked up for it. Add the wrong person on Friendster? Locked away. Someone updates their MySpace and you don’t like the cut of their jib? Jail. Someone puts up a new AIM away message and it rustles your jimmies? Jail. (I assume they are a bit behind the times over there. Besides AIM, cause everyone knows AIM is back.) 10 months for adding the letter “k” to the end of the word in a Tweet. Imagine if we could get arrested for Tweets over here- Everyone south of Richmond, everyone under the age of 15, and the entire state of Oklahoma would be in prison. Though it was obviously not a mistake, gotta give him the benefit of the doubt that it was. A tweet full of happy faces, you definitely have to respect his hustle for trying to sneak that K in there.
How about the Turkey prime minister’s number one goal being to rid his country of Twitter? That’s wild. I don’t want to live in a world without Twitter. What would I read?