Turkey has requested Finland help it prosecute a resident living in Finland, who allegedly insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media. The Turkish government claims that the man posted derogatory images and comments on Facebook in 2016.
The recent request by the Turkish government comes after both Finland and Sweden signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Turkey for them to join NATO. Under the agreement, Finland and Sweden will be expected to comply with extradition requests of individuals suspected of terrorism.
The man Turkey wants to be extradited has dual citizenship of Turkey and Finland, and has lived in the Nordic country for decades. Finland has reduced all previous requests, arguing that Turkish courts might not respect human rights, and, while the comments could be considered derogatory, his chances of a fair trial in Turkey are minimal.
Turkey has a law making it illegal to insult the president. In 206, Ankara called for the prosecution of a German comedian after they posted a poem attacking Erdogan. Following the release of the poem, the Turkish consulate in the Netherlands encouraged people to report insults to Erdogan that they had heard.
Under the controversial law, tens of thousands of people, including children as young as 12, have been prosecuted.