Turkish authorities arrested the head of the Istanbul Bakers’ Union on Wednesday, after allegations by the ruling party that he “insulted and baked the Turkish nation”.
Cihan Kulivar is still in pretrial detention for insulting the Turkish president, after he said in a television interview last Monday that Turks eat bread more than other countries, describing bread as “the basic food of foolish societies,” explaining that this is the reason why the same rulers remain in country for twenty years.
Local media in Turkey said that the head of the Bakers’ Union, who is in custody, “publicly insults the Turkish nation”, after he said that the “foolish” love of the Turkish people for bread was the reason for their election of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for two decades.
“Bread is the staple food of foolish societies,” Kolivar said, during an interview with Turkey’s Haberturk TV on the rise in bread prices amid the country’s continuing high inflation rate. kilograms per person annually, while the individual eats between 45-50 kilograms of it in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England and Japan.
Those statements led him to the detention facility, where he remains in detention until now.
On Wednesday, the Istanbul court decided to pretrial detention of the head of the bakers’ union in the city, pending the investigation of accusations of insulting the president and the Turkish nation, according to the Anatolia News Agency.
“Kolivar’s comments are hate speech,” said Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party.
He added: “In addition to the fact that (the statements) insult the nation and the bread, the statements show that it is an element of those who adopt hostile and hateful policies.”
Turkey faces widespread criticism from rights groups and its Western partners for limiting freedom of expression.
Erdogan’s opponents believe that his unconventional monetary policies are the reason for the suffering of the Turkish economy.
However, the Turkish president believes that these policies are aimed at supporting exports and investments and providing more job opportunities.
Turkish inflation recorded its highest level in 24 years, after it reached 85.5 percent. Inflation has started to rise strongly since the collapse of the Turkish lira due to the rate cut by the Turkish Central Bank in line with the policies that Erdogan wants.