ISTANBUL: A Turkish journalist was passed a suspended sentence of years and five months in jail on Thursday for insulting Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan, a court ruling seen by Reuters confirmed.

Husnu Mahalli, a distinguished journalist who additionally writes columns within the competition newspaper Sozcu, will now not be sent to prison because of time already served and because the ruling is up for appeal.

The Turkish courtroom also exceeded Mahalli a suspended sentence of one year and 8 months for insulting public officials.

Mahalli will simplest serve the lesser sentence if he commits a criminal offense that requires a jail sentence within the next 5 years, all through which he could be on probation.

“My customer has been sentenced because of the expressions he used in his columns, tweets. Those need to be seemed inside the freedom of complaint. We can enchantment the sentence,” Mahalli’s attorney Ertugrul Aydogan said.

Mahalli become detained in December 2016 after he accused Turkey of helping terrorist organizations in Syria and referred to as Erdogan a dictator. He was launched in January in 2017 pending trial.

Mahalli defended himself in courtroom, pronouncing he turned into doing his journalistic responsibility, personal Demiroren information employer (DHA) reported.

“i have now not insulted the president. I have continually addressed him as Mr President. The word ‘dictator’ isn't always an insulting word. I call for my acquittal,” he stated throughout his defence, DHA said.

Turkish authorities have detained tens of hundreds of civil servants, newshounds, squaddies and others following a failed army coup in July 2016. They have additionally close down about one hundred thirty media stores.

Erdogan has said some reporters helped nurture terrorists via their writing and says the crackdown is needed to ensure balance in Turkey, a NATO member that borders Syria, Iraq and Iran.

Critics say Erdogan is using the put up-coup crackdown to muzzle dissent and tighten his grip on power, costs he denies. The european Union, which Turkey aspires to enroll in, has also criticized the crackdown.