Turkey's President Erdogan sues opposition lawmaker for calling him a fascist dictator
Oct 31, 2017 Politics 5749 By Abdulkerimu Oare
- Turkey's President Erdogan sues opposition lawmaker for calling him a fascist dictator.
- Insulting the President is a punishable offence in Turkish Law.
- International community concerned that Turkey is becoming more authoritarian.
The President of Turkey Tayyip Erdogan has filed a lawsuit against a senior opposition lawmaker Bulent Tezcan on Tuesday after the latter called the Turkish leader a fascist dictator.
the President is a crime in Turkey punishable by four years imprisonment.
Bulent Tezcan who is a spokesman for the Republican People's Party accused President Erdogan of making Turkey "a fearful place".
Erdogan's lawyer, Huseyin Aydin, said on Twitter: "We have filed a legal petition concerning Bulent Tezcan with the Ankara chief prosecutor's office for the crime of insulting the president." Aydin also posted photos of the petition.
"The suspect's statements are part of a new campaign against our president and cannot be interpreted as an isolated incident," the petition said, saying such a campaign had also been launched ahead of last year's attempted coup.
In a speech on Monday in the western city of Tekirdag, criticizing local judicial authorities, Tezcan had said: "If you try to scare people and to create a fearful atmosphere by showing legal words as illegal ones we will not be deterred."
His comments appeared to be in defense of the local mayor, a CHP member, who was questioned by authorities this month after he reportedly called Erdogan a "dictator" at a party congress.
"I don't know if our mayor said that or not. I, here in Tekirdag, say it now: ‘Erdogan is a fascist dictator'," Tezcan said.
Meanwhile, the international community continues to express concerns that Turkey is sliding towards authoritarianism especially since the failed coup attempt which has seen around 50,000 suspects arrested and awaiting trial.