Turkish court dismisses Gülen’s appeal against Erdoğan
AFP PhotoA local court in Ankara has refused an appeal by lawyers of U.S.-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen to take President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to court on charges of “violating his personal rights.”
Lawyers for Erdoğan and Gülen were present at a hearing held before the Ankara 14th Civil court of First Instance on Dec. 15 when a speech delivered by Erdoğan in February 2014 was subject to Gülen’s complaint and appeal for non-pecuniary damages.
Gülen’s lawyers noted that Erdoğan was the-then prime minister when he delivered the speech. They said Erdoğan had to prove his claims about Gülen since he was the head of the executive at the time.
“The remarks that were used by my client are particularities that are mentioned in indictments arranged by prosecutors other than the apparent truth. These particularities in the indictments are much weightier than remarks delivered by my client,” Burhanettin Sevencan, an attorney for Erdoğan, told the court.
Ultimately, the court dismissed the appeal in which Gülen was seeking a payment of 100,000 Turkish Liras as compensation for non-pecuniary damages.
Gülen was one a close ally of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government and Erdoğan, but relations have soured in recent years, particularly after members of the judiciary allegedly linked to Gülen opened a corruption case against Erdoğan’s inner circle two years ago.
Gülen has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999 and is the subject of arrest warrants in Turkey. A prosecutor is seeking a prison sentence of up to 34 years for Gülen on allegations that he sought to topple Erdoğan. Gülen denies the allegations.