Erdoğan files criminal complaint against CHP lawmakers

Erdoğan files criminal complaint against CHP lawmakers


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed criminal complaints against Engin Özkoç and Aykut Erdoğdu, lawmakers from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), accusing the MPs of “insulting” the president.

Özkoç is also the deputy group chair of the opposition party.

In the petition submitted to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office through his lawyer Hüseyin Aydın, Erdoğan argued that the comments Özkoç and Erdoğdu made on private broadcaster Tele 1 should not be considered within the boundaries of freedom of expression but mounted to insult and the violation of personal rights.

Erdoğan requested that a probe should be launched for insulting the president and a criminal case against Özkoç and Erdoğdu should be initiated.

Journalist Sedef Kabaş, who appeared on the same show aired on Jan. 14 on Tele 1 with Özkoç and Erdoğdu was arrested on Jan. 22 for “insulting” the president.

Separately, officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the country’s 81 provinces filed criminal complaints against Özkoç, Erdoğdu and Kabaş.

Meanwhile, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) held an emergency meeting on Jan. 24 to discuss actions to be taken against Tele 1 for the show featuring Kabaş.

The council ruled that Kabaş’s comments violated an article of the law which says media services shall not inflame society to hatred and hostility. The council issued an administrative fine to the broadcaster.

RTÜK also took up a report by an expert on Selçuk Tepeli, a news anchor on private broadcaster FOX. The expert claimed that when presenting the news Tepeli emphasizes more of his personal opinion and views rather than the facts and that his comments are biased and not balanced.

Based on the findings in the report, the council also issued an administrative fine to the broadcaster.