April 15, 2016 | Quoted by Isobel Finkel - Bloomberg

Erdogan Sees Evil in `Lord of the Rings’ Where Others See Good

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s lawyers are about to come face to face with “The Lord of the Rings.”

Six months ago, family doctor Bilgin Ciftci lost his job for posting photographs online that appeared to liken Erdogan to Gollum, one of the most infamous creatures from J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel. The doctor was charged with insulting the president. Now, his freedom hinges on a Turkish court’s reading of an existential question about good and evil: Was Gollum “bad?” Or was he simply corrupted by power?

“It’s only the absurd tip of a very large iceberg. There are thousands of insult cases like this being opened up at the moment in Turkey, and often on very shaky ground,” said Aykan Erdemir, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in Washington and formerly an opposition member of Turkey’s parliament. “This is not a trivial matter.”

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