Court rejects case by top general against BDP leader
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel’s bid against the BDP co-chair was refused. AFP photoA court in Ankara refused on Tuesday to consider Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel’s bid to open a compensation case against Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş.
Demirtaş had strongly criticized Özel for making a statement in which he said “he doesn’t find education in Kurdish appropriate,” leading Özel to make an official complaint to attempt to open up a compensation case for 50,000 Turkish Liras.
“The chief of staff comes out and says ‘No education in mother tongue.’ Who asked you to come out with an answer? You should first give an account of the massacres. His Royal Highness Pasha comes out and showers orders on us. Although your title is full general, you are just a corporal for us,” Demirtaş said in a speech delivered on Jan. 7, 2012 during a party meeting.
During the session at the Ankara 17th Court of First Instance on Tuesday, the parties were represented by their lawyers, according to Anatolia news agency.
Honor and reputation
Özel’s lawyer argued that his client’s “honor and reputation” as well as his “personal rights” in his capacity as the top commander of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had been harmed due to Demirtaş’s statement. The statement had no relation to freedom of expression and was aimed only at insulting, he added.
Demirtaş’s lawyer, for his part, argued that it was “a universal rule for bureaucrats who hold the position of ruling power to accept criticism,” adding that his client’s statement should be considered within the scope of freedom of expression. Judge Rıza Şahin eventually refused to open a case, Anatolia news agency reported, without elaborating on Şahin’s reasoning for this decision.