The Offense of Libel in the Turkish Penal Code


The offense of libel is regulated under the heading of crimes against honor in the Turkish Penal Code.

Attributing a concrete act or fact that could damage a person’s honor or dignity or attacking the honor and dignity of a person by cursing is the offense of libel.

Whether or not the fact attributed to a person exists has no effect on the occurrence of the
offense of libel. However, proving that the alleged fact is actual will prevent the perpetrator from being punished for the offense of libel.

If the word directed to the person is that they are malicious or malign, a crime of libel occurs. Making some abstractions to a person in an abstract sense can also constitute the offense of libel.

For example, using words such as “bastard”, “bummer” and “piece of garbage” to the victim is one of the abstract attributions of the libel.

Ascribing a person to a disease or making statements due to his / her physical ailment is also within the scope of the offense of libel.l. The important thing is that these insulting words were declared to humiliate the other person.
Proof of a political title to humiliate a person is also within the scope of the offense of libel, such as calling them a “fascist”.
While deciding whether the words spoken to a person are degrading or not, understanding and customs established in society are accepted as criteria.

The offense of libel can be committed in two ways: Libel in the victim’s presence and libel in absentia. Absentia is making such statements in an environment where the victim is not around or even if the victim is in that environment, in a way that he/she cannot hear or understand.

For the penal to be carried out in absentia the act must be committed by addressing at least three people.

The offense of libel can also be committed by delivering the person via audio-written or video message. The penalty stipulated in the Turkish Penal Code for the offense of libel is imprisonment from three months to two years or a judicial fine.

Committing the offense of libel to a public official due to their duties, committing the crime of libel to express, change, and try to spread one’s religious, political, social, philosophical beliefs, thoughts and convictions, to commit this offensebyh the orders and prohibitions of the religion they believe in, or to commit this offense due to the sacred values of the religion they belong to, constitute the aggravating circumstances of the crime and in this case, the penalty to be given to the perpetrator must be increased.

If the offense of defamation is committed against the victim in front of everyone, the punishment to be imposed must be increased by one-sixth.



Antalya Attorney Baris Erkan Celebi and his Antalya Law Firm advise their clients in all subjects of OFFENSE OF LIBEL including but not limited to the carrier’s legal liability, its limits, the breaking of the limits, the carrier’s exoneration, freight insurance and reinsurance, contracts of carriage, charter agreements, a recap of the fixture, disputes arising from the bill of lading and other fields of OFFENSE OF LIBEL.