Turkish PM withdraws 1,500 legal cases

Turkish PM withdraws 1,500 legal cases

Turkish PM withdraws 1,500 legal cases

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Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has withdrawn legal cases against some 1,500 people, including politicians, columnists and journalists, in a move similar to a recent decision by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a bid to contribute to the “social consensus that emerged after the [July 15] coup attempt.” 

Yıldırım’s lawyer, Tuba Kılıç, submitted a petition to an Istanbul court on Aug. 3, informing about the withdrawal decision. 

The people had united against the July 15 failed coup attempt at the cost of their lives, the petition read. 

“Now it is time to make new starts, open new pages, join hands with all from the ruling and opposition parties, close the ranks and reconcile the differences,” it read. 

An Ankara court received a similar petition on Aug. 1, notifying that Erdoğan was withdrawing cases opened against some opposition party leaders – excluding the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) - over insult charges, in a gesture to encourage the political solidarity created after the July 15 coup attempt. 

The petition said Erdoğan “renounced” the cases with the “hope and will to make people meet on common ground, to consolidate unity and solidarity and to maintain decency in political life.”

Erdoğan’s lawyer, Hüseyin Aydın, said there were over 3,000 criminal and insult cases against Erdoğan and that they had accelerated the actions to withdraw the cases this week.    

“Following the political leaders, we will withdraw all criminal and some insult cases,” he said, adding that he believed five people arrested for such crimes would be freed. 

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu announced Aug. 1 that he was withdrawing cases and complaint petitions he opened against Erdoğan.   

Erdoğan’s lawyer also said insult cases opened in Germany by the president were expected to be withdrawn.

A probe was launched on April 6 in Germany against Jan Böhmermann, a presenter on the ZDF TV station, who allegedly insulted Erdoğan in a satirical poem on a program.