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POLITICS > PM’s cases against journalists stanching criticism, lawyer says

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Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, AA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, AA photo

Lawsuits opened on behalf of the prime minister against people who have “insulted” him in the press have created a strong deterrent factor preventing other reporters from deploying similar rhetoric, according to a lawyer for the Turkish leader.

"We have to underline that cases we've opened against press have been quite a deterrent; the wording of columnists has noticeably changed especially since the year 2003. Reporters and columnists do not exceed the dose when making criticisms anymore; insulting comments or columns have been reduced to minimum," Ali Özkaya, a lawyer for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was quoted as saying by daily Akşam today.

The lawyer said they mostly sued Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and that they had won the most compensation from cases involving the main opposition head.

Özkaya also warned youth about use of social media. "Young people are using social media as if they're talking to a friend and they insult the prime minister and other ministers. They think nobody sees their messages, but social media is a public area. According to the law, cases are automatically being opened against these [people] even if the prime minister doesn't make a complaint,” he said.

October/23/2012

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READER COMMENTS

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Ali Benjamin

10/24/2012 12:09:22 AM

DITTO: As being part of an ostensible "democracy" - joke - the Erdoğan regime should cease its paranoid hyprocrisy & allow genuine freedom of the press & expression, & THAT even includes INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING & POLITICAL SATIRE. As an American currently living in Turkey, it is appalling that this basic freedom that I took for granted all my life in the U.S. is virtually non-existent here. Mr. Erdoğan would do well to read the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, ponder it, & learn from it.

Hakan Salci

10/23/2012 8:23:37 PM

What next? A salute when we see our beloved 'Great Leader'? What is this article meant to achieve? Is it giving HDN readers the heads-up or simply implying to them to be more cautious in what they write; in effect a deterrant. For all those that advocate the AKP and its policies...need I say more. Democracy, and especially Freedom of Expression, does not exist in Turkey, everyone knows this and yet everyone pretends that there is nothing wrong. What a state to be in...damn right shameful.

Tekion Particle

10/23/2012 6:43:16 PM

What a joke, what does he expect? Hail the leader? Everyone loves the PM? He is a public figure and should be open to criticism and criticism should not be perceived as an insult. He would not bring lawsuit against anyone unduly praised him though would he? This man has absolutely no idea what democracy is. As far as he is concerned democracy is what the man in charge allows or forbids.

Tamer Aslantas

10/23/2012 5:02:41 PM

You know what is more pityful. People accusing each other of things and calling each others names. Respect is lost, that is pityful!

Thessalonian

10/23/2012 4:16:58 PM

If you can't shut them up, sue them... So much for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Turkey continues to occupy first place on the violators of free speech and freedom of expression roaster. Pityful... Regards

mara mcglothin

10/23/2012 3:07:49 PM

Don't these people have better things to do that open frivolous lawsuits? Very sad.
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