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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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