CHP deputy removed from plane due to ‘insulting’ Erdoğan conviction

CHP deputy removed from plane due to ‘insulting’ Erdoğan conviction

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
CHP deputy removed from plane due to ‘insulting’ Erdoğan conviction Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Istanbul deputy Eren Erdem was forcibly removed from a Berlin-bound plane with a prosecutor’s order on July 4 due to his conviction in January 2014 for “insulting” the president, reports have revealed.

According to sources from the judiciary, Erdem was fined a total of 7,000 Turkish Liras (around $2300) for “insulting’ President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was prime minister at the time of the lawmaker’s remarks on Nov. 8, 2012.

The verdict was finalized on Jan. 27, 2014, as Erdem did not appeal the decision. The fine was later converted into 700 hours of community service work. 

However, as Erdem had not applied to find suitable work within the following 10 days, an arrest warrant was issued on June 28. The decision was then postponed until the end of Erdem’s term as a member of parliament, as lawmakers are immune from prosecution, sources said. 

Speaking to reporters after the incident on July 4, Erdem claimed the issue was not legal but political. 

“[Justice Minister] Bekir Bozdağ and our CHP deputy chair Bülent Tezcan have spoken [about the incident]. According to Bozdağ, it was a mistake. But we know what mistakes mean... What is being done is political,” said Erdem, who vowed to seek compensation through legal avenues.

“It is not acceptable for someone with no ban on leaving the country to be hindered from foreign travel... These moves and interfering attitudes, these acts of judiciary members, diminish the trust of all parts of society in the judiciary. I am being kept waiting here and my plane has taken off. My freedom to travel abroad has been hindered,” he added, stressing he was held without being shown any notices.