All released in ‘insulting president’ cases after Erdoğan pulled back complaints

All released in ‘insulting president’ cases after Erdoğan pulled back complaints

All released in ‘insulting president’ cases after Erdoğan pulled back complaints

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All people probed for insulting the president have been released following President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decision to withdraw such cases, his lawyer Hüseyin Aydın has said.

Aydın said more than 10 people had been released as a result of a statement by Erdoğan on July 27 that he would withdraw the insult cases he had launched.

Thousands of cases were opened for insulting the president after Erdoğan took over the presidency. Some of them are compensation cases – all of them against politicians and journalists – which have been opened by Erdoğan’s lawyers.

Others are public cases opened by the state prosecutors.

“For us, the milestone is July 29. We have taken action for the cases that took place before July 29. So to my knowledge there is no one left in prison for insulting the president,” Aydın told the Hürriyet Daily News.

There are nearly 4,000 public cases of insult against the president, said Aydın. “We filed a petition for all of them that we are withdrawing our complaints. We also asked that those under arrest be released.”

The public cases are not automatically dropped, even if the injured party withdraws the complaint. However, Erdoğan’s decision might work in favor of the suspects, said Aydın.

Meanwhile, two journalists Ertuğrul Özkök and Cengiz Çandar were also acquitted of “insult” charges on Sept. 6, following President Erdoğan’s decision to withdraw the cases.

An Istanbul court ordered the acquittal of Hürriyet columnist Özkök in two separate insult cases, in which he had faced a total of nine years and four months in prison.

Çandar was acquitted after facing up to four years in prison for seven separate columns he penned.

Erdoğan decided to withdraw all court cases he previously opened against the chairs of opposition parties, with the exception of the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP), as a sign of solidarity after the July 15 coup attempt.

Sixteen cases against Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), and one case against Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have been dropped, according to Aydın.

In addition, 15 dossiers against Kılıçdaroğlu, and seven against Bahçeli that were sent to parliament in preparation for trial have been withdrawn, said Aydın.

In May, parliament passed regulations that would strip parliamentarians of their immunity, allowing them to stand trial.

Erdoğan’s move also covers cases that were made before his announcement.