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Former Miss Turkey gets 14-month jail for insulting President on Instagram

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ANKARA — A court has indicted a former Miss Turkey of insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan through social media postings and gave her a 14-month suspended sentence on Tuesday, amid deepening concerns that the country is swaying toward an increasingly authoritarian form of rule.

The court in Istanbul found 27-year-old model Merve Buyuksarac guilty of insulting a public official but immediately suspended the sentence on condition that she does not reoffend within the next five years.

Her lawyer, Emre Telci, said he would file a formal objection to the verdict and appeal her case at the Strasbourg, France-based European Court of Justice.

Buyuksarac, who was crowned Miss Turkey in 2006, was briefly detained last year for sharing a satirical poem on her Instagram account in 2014.

Prosecutors deemed it to be insulting to Erdogan, who was still prime minister at the time. She has denied insulting Erdogan.

Since becoming president in 2014, Erdogan has filed close to 2,000 defamation cases under a previously seldom-used law that bars insulting the president.

Free speech advocates say the law is being used aggressively to silence and intimidate critics.

The trials have targeted journalists, academics and even schoolchildren.

AP

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PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team

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KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.

PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.

Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.

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