Turkey opens probe of actors' alleged TV insults of Erdogan

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of a youth organisation founded by his elder son Bilal Erdogan and his friends, in Istanbul Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018. Erdogan said Friday the United States decided to withdraw troops from Syria after he reassured U.S. President Donald Trump that Turkey could eradicate the remnants of Islamic State group from the country with logistical help from Washington.(Presidential Press Service via AP, Pool)

ISTANBUL — Turkey's official news agency says prosecutors are investigating two prominent actors for comments on a television program.

Anadolu agency on Sunday quoted a statement from the Istanbul prosecutors' that said actors Metin Akpinar and Mujdat Gezen were "invited" for questioning following media reports about their alleged insults of Turkey's president and threats of "a coup and death."

The actors appeared on a talk show Friday on opposition television channel Halk TV. During the broadcast, Akpinar said Turkey needed to be more democratic and if that wasn't achieved peacefully, "maybe leaders could be hung from their feet or poisoned in cellars."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Akpinar on Sunday. More than 77,000 people have been arrested in Turkey since a 2016 coup attempt.

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