Turkish president takes opposition CHP leader to court upon ‘pervert’ debate

Turkish president takes opposition CHP leader to court upon ‘pervert’ debate

Turkish president takes opposition CHP leader to court upon ‘pervert’ debate As Turkey’s political leaders continue to trade harsh epithets in the aftermath of a sexual abuse scandal, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed yet another complaint against the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader on “insult” charges, demanding 100,000 liras in compensation for non-pecuniary damages.

Erdoğan’s lawyers filed the complaint against CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office on April 13, state-run Anadolu Agency reported. The lawyers argued Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks delivered to the Turkish Medical Association (TTB) on April 7 constituted a crime according to Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which states: “A person who defames the president of the Republic [of Turkey] shall be imprisoned for a term of one to four years and the penalty to be imposed shall be increased by one-sixth if the offence is committed publicly and by one-third if it is committed by way of press and media.”

Separately, Erdoğan’s lawyers petitioned the Ankara Civil Court of First Instance demanding payment of 100,000 liras in compensation by Kılıçdaroğlu for non-pecuniary damages over the same remarks, claiming that the CHP leader “made extraordinarily heavy insults with the purpose of attacking [Erdoğan’s] personal rights.”

Kılıçdaroğlu’s response came through his Twitter account on April 13.

“You hurl insults via TV programs from morning to night at everyone who is not your supporter and now you open an ‘insult’ case against me. Is that so? These cases are an honor for me. I will continue reminding you of them until you remember the idea of integrity and honor and behave accordingly,” he tweeted.

The debate heated up after Kılıçdaroğlu criticized Family and Social Policies Minister Sema Ramazanoğlu over recent sexual abuse cases in private education institutes on April 5. 

President Erdoğan then referred to him as a “political pervert,” to which Kılıçdaroğlu fired back during a visit to the TTB.

“Isn’t it perversion to say, ‘I sit in Dolmabahçe [Palace in Istanbul] and look at the women and girls on the ferries that are coming from Kadıköy’? The person who confessed this is Erdoğan,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, referring to Erdoğan’s statements broadcast on a TV program on June 2, 2013.