In April 2017, a referendum was held for the amendment of certain constitutional articles to transition to an executive presidential system. After the referendum, protests were organized before the offices of the High Election Board (YSK) in many cities, and in İzmir, the documentary film-maker and journalist Kazım Kızıl who was following the protest was detained, along with 23 protesters.
Although he was detained on charges of violating the Law no. 2911 on Meetings and Protest Rallies, he was arrested four days later on charges of insulting the President through his social media posts dating from 2016. Six other defendants were also arrested for allegedly violating Law No. 2911. All the defendants were charged with insulting the President because of the slogans they chanted during the protest.
Kızıl stated that during the protest where he was detained, he heard the police talk among themselves, saying “Did you get Kazım, too?”
At the first hearing of the trial, held three months later, he was released along with six other prisoners in the same case. Erdoğan’s lawyer, who had asked to participate in the hearings, did not come to any.
At the final hearing of the case on June 19, 2019, Kızıl was sentenced to 1 year in prison on charges of “insulting the president”. The time he spent in prison was deducted from this sentence.