CHP candidate sues President Erdoğan over Gülen claim
Main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) presidential candidate Muharrem İnce has filed a criminal complaint against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after the latter accused the CHP candidate of taking instructions from Pennsylvania-based cleric Fethullah Gülen.
“His [Erdoğan’s] statement cannot be regarded within the scope of expression of thought and his intention is clearly to insult and defame,” the official letter of complaint filed by İnce’s lawyer Mustafa Kemal Çiçek read on June 11.
İnce’s legal team demanded 100,000 Turkish Liras in compensation for non-pecuniary damages and for the court order to be published in five newspapers with the highest circulation rate.
The complaint came regarding the president’s statement against İnce, criticizing the CHP candidate of receiving instructions from Gülen, who currently resides in Pennsylvania and is a primary suspect in the July 15 coup attempt, accused of masterminding the coup and leading the Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
“Muharrem, are you ready to quit if you do not win first place in the elections? We will see. You cannot quit. You all receive permission from the same place: Pennsylvania,” Erdoğan said on June 6 at a campaign rally in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri.
The CHP candidate’s lawyer argued the statement accusing him of “receiving permission from Pennsylvania” is the equivalent of an insult.
Kılıçdaroğlu sues interior minister
Meanwhile, CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also sued Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, demanding a compensation from Soylu for accusing Kılıçdaroğlu of illegally acquiring revenue through CHP municipalities.
The CHP leader’s lawyer Celal Çelik demanded a symbolic “5 Kuruş [non-pecuniary] compensation” and for the court order to be published in the five newspapers with the highest circulation rate in a complaint issued on June 11.
The complaint came after the interior minister accused Kılıçdaroğlu of involvement in illegal financial activities in CHP municipalities.
Soylu recalled that Kılıçdaroğlu was sentenced to pay 185,000 Turkish Liras in compensation on June 7 for insulting Erdoğan over his claim that the president and some of his relatives have transferred large amounts of money into offshore accounts on the Isle of Man. The interior minister said he would keep track of Kılıçdaroğlu’s payment of the fine.