Speed Reads


Turkish journalist goes to prison for tweeting the letter 'K'


In Turkey, texting the letter "K" can apparently land you in prison. Önder Aytaç, a columnist who writes for a Turkish opposition newspaper, was sentenced to 10 months in prison Monday for "insulting public officials" because his tweet about Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan contained that letter tacked onto the end of another word.

Posted in September 2012, the tweet was a response to Erdogan's plan to shutter private schools. In the message, "k" was added to the end of the Turkish word "ustam," meaning either "my chief" or "my master." It sounds innocuous enough, but the addition changed the message to mean "screw off." Business Insider has a screenshot of the tweet here.

Aytaç said it was a simple typo, but the country is known for its strict defamation and censorship laws when it comes to talking ill about public leaders. Erdogan is also skittish about the whole Twitter thing, too, and tried unsuccessfully to ban the social network earlier this month.