Turkish newspaper to pay compensation to former CHP MP
DHA photoPro-government Turkish daily Akşam has been sentenced to pay 6,000 Turkish Liras in compensation to former Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Umut Oran for publishing a manufactured story alleging an assassination plot against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s daughter, Sümeyye Erdoğan, which they had claimed involved Oran, daily Cumhuriyet reported on April 20.
“The disclosure of this cowardly scenario in court after the criminal action is a pleasing development,” said Oran, after the court’s decision on April 19, while adding that the ones who wrote and planned the counterfeit story should be “absolutely” sentenced in order to prevent them from attempting to defame “moral” politicians.
Turkish dailies Akşam, Güneş, Star, Sabah and Takvim published between Feb. 17 and 20, 2015, the aforementioned story, which alleged former police officer turned journalist Emre Uslu, anti-government social media whistleblower Fuat Avni, whose real name is unknown, and Oran exchanged Twitter messages discussing an assassination plot.
“This plot was an attack that was not only carried out against me, but against the CHP before the June 7, 2015, elections. These publications were attacks against our constitutional and parliamentary systems, as well as our democratic order,” Oran also said, while stressing that the ones behind this scenario would appear before the court.
“I’ll never let this case go,” Oran added.
Oran filed a criminal complaint against Ethem Sancak, the owner of Akşam and Güneş, and Akşam’s editor-in-chief, Murat Kelkitlioğlu, while the Bakırköy Prosecutor’s Office’s Press Crimes Bureau also filed a criminal complaint against Akşam’s managing editor, Mustafa Dolu, on May 23, 2015. Dolu’s trial is ongoing and he could receive a prison sentence of between two and 11 years.
Upon an investigation into Oran’s claim, the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office stated the Twitter messages between Uslu and Oran were entirely fabricated in an attempt to manufacture evidence against them.