From Today's Zaman:
The prison sentence of 11 months, 20 days was converted into a fine by the court, the Hürriyet daily said.
Bahadır Baruter and Özer Aydoğan, cartoonists for the magazine Penguen, will pay each a total of TL 7,000, i.e., TL 20 in lieu of each day of imprisonment.
In a cartoon published on the cover of the Aug. 21, 2014 issue of the weekly magazine, shortly after Erdoğan was elected president, a civil servant is seen shaking hands with Erdoğan in front of the presidential palace during a welcoming ceremony, with the thumb and forefinger of his other hand in the shape of a ring as he tries to fasten a button on his jacket as a sign of respect.
In Turkey, the sign, when made with a thumb and a forefinger, implies that the person that the sign is directed toward is homosexual.
Tora Pekin, the two cartoonists' lawyer, demanded that the accused be acquitted, arguing in court that Erdoğan was not insulted by the cartoon.
Baruter and Aydoğan did not attend the hearing at the İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
Cem S., a man who identifies as a sympathizer of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), informed the Prime Ministry Communication Center (BİMER) that the front-page cartoon of Penguen showed a "gay" signal in reference to Erdoğan.
“The process of evaluating the complaints that have been made by the prosecutor leads me to doubt that they are conscious [of what they are trying me for],” Baruter said during a previous hearing in the court last week, stressing the problematic nature of the fact that the suit is predicated on the idea that being homosexual is insulting.
Aydoğan argued that the picture was not drawn with the intention of calling Erdoğan a homosexual, but was instead commentary on the lack of press freedom in Turkey, stating: “The magazine would not make such a cheap joke on the cover. The joke on the cover is a metaphor about the victimization of journalists.”
The controversial cartoon depicts President Erdoğan being welcomed to the newly built presidential palace, known as Ak Saray. The man welcoming the president is shown saying: “Congratulations, sir. Welcome to your palace,” while holding one hand out to greet the president and the other against his suit with his fingers in a ring shape. President Erdoğan, in response, is shown with a displeased expression, saying: “What a bland celebration. We could have at least sacrificed a journalist [to eat].”