A Turkish man is facing jail time for allegedly impersonating 'Allah' on Twitter, causing outrage across the country.
A 24-year-old Turkish school teacher is facing more than a year behind bars for posing as Allah as part of a controversial Twitter spoof. The elementary school teacher - known as Ertan P. - is facing 15 months in a Turkish jail for using the the 'AllahCC' account to mock Islamic scripture.
The bogus account, which claims over 100,000 followers, mocked Islam’s sacred religious values over the course of several years by impersonating Allah, his messenger, Muhammad, and his angels on Twitter. The court said Ertan posted tweets such as “I sent the last prophet 1,500 years ago—now we communicate via Twitter.”
His final tweet, posted shortly before his arrest was: "Here [Heaven] is very safe because there is no police." Ertan’s lawyer, Rumet Agit Ozer, distanced his client from some of the offending tweets, amid claims that Ertan did not create the account in question— but simply hacked into it.
He told a court in Mus province: “My client does not accept the allegations that he owns the account. He just hacked it few times to reach bigger audiences.” However, prosecutors were unconvinced.
The news sparked outrage among Turkey's social media users and Ertan has faced numerous death threats since the news emerged. The case began in 2012, after a member of the public reported the tweets as offensive but it wasn't until last year authorities eventually tracked Ertan to his home in in the country's conservative east.
The incident is not the first time that activists have used social media to belt out blasphemous messages to the masses. However the latest move is thought to have irked the authorities when it emerged that the man was a school teacher. The news comes just months after the country's Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan tried to block Twitter, claiming the website violates people’s privacy.
Ertan now plans to appeal the case.