ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish media reports say a teenager was taken away from his school and detained by police for allegedly insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Hurriyet newspaper says the 16-year-old high-school student, identified only by his initials M.E.A., was arrested Wednesday in the central city of Konya for making a speech at a student protest a day earlier. The boy reportedly said Erdogan was regarded as the "thieving owner of the illegal palace" in reference to a government corruption scandal as well as a controversial 1,150-room new palace Erdogan inaugurated in October.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu defended the arrest Thursday saying: "the presidential office needs to be shown respect."
The boy could face up to four years in prison if convicted of insulting the president.