CHP head fined 10,000 liras for remarks on former minister about Ensar Foundation
ANKARAMain opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has been sentenced to pay 10,000 Turkish Liras in compensation for “violating the personal rights” of former Family Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu over his accusation that she supported an education foundation embroiled in a major rape case.
An Ankara court on Jan. 23 partially accepted Ramazanoğlu’s case, which argued that Kılıçdaroğlu in April 2016 “used phrases that are against the law” in his criticism of her alleged support for the Ensar Foundation, an Islamic-inspired children’s group that has been embroiled in a major child abuse scandal.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawyer argued that when his client referred to “lying in front of someone” in his criticism he had been “speaking metaphorically” to suggest that Ramazanoğlu “was being protected” by certain people, and the expression should be regarded within the bounds of freedom of speech.
Ramazanoğlu demanded compensation of 50,000 liras, but the court ordered the CHP head to pay her 10,000 liras in non-pecuniary damages.
Kılıçdaroğlu had delivered the remarks while making a speech about 10 school boys’ sexual abuse by a teacher working at the Ensar Foundation’s private lecture centers in the Karaman district of the Central Anatolian province of Konya.
“What is the excuse for leaving children at the mercy of this degenerate culture? The governor does not speak, the education minister does not speak. The family minister is already lying in front of some people and she does not speak either. Who allowed these dormitories to operate?” he said.
After news spread of the abuse incident, which saw the 54-year-old chief suspect sentenced to 508 years in jail, Ramazanoğlu repeatedly stressed that it should not be exploited to denigrate the Ensar Foundation as an institution.