1,845 cases of ‘insulting’ Erdoğan await prosecution: Justice Minister

1,845 cases of ‘insulting’ Erdoğan await prosecution: Justice Minister

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
1,845 cases of ‘insulting’ Erdoğan await prosecution: Justice Minister

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivers a speech during a meeting of "mukhtars" (heads of towns and villages) at the Presidential Complex in Ankara on February 24, 2016. AFP Photo

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ has said the number of cases awaiting prosecution for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has reached 1,845.
“When we look at the insults toward the president, I cannot even read them. My face gets red. Nobody should have a right to curse,” Bozdağ said, while answering questions from deputies during his ministry’s budget meeting at parliament’s general assembly.

“These curse words and sentences are not expressions of thoughts, they are completely insults. I can give them [the case files] to deputies who want to see them; I do not think they can read them without getting red,” said Bozdağ. 

Since being elected president in Turkey’s first public presidential elections in 2014, many people - including celebrities, journalists and high school students – have faced charges for “insulting” Erdoğan. Recently, opposition party leaders and members have joined the hundreds of people being tried for insulting the president. Criminal complaints against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş were also filed recently.

Meanwhile, upon a question over supervised release regulations, Bozdağ said currently there was no work being done about it, as they were being carried out through supervised release for those convicts who have one year for their provisional release.

Family and Social Policies Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu also answered questions during the general assembly and said, as of February, some 137 women guesthouses were hosting 3,442 people, while the number of these houses has increased by 106 percent since 2002 and their capacity has increased by 160 percent.