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Court rules for CHP leader to pay TL50,000 to Erdoğan in compensation over “insulting president”

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An Ankara court ruled for main opposition People’s Democratic Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to pay TL50,000 in compensation to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in two separate trials on charges of “insulting the president.”

Kılıçdaroğlu was accused because of the remarks he made during his party’s 35th congress on Jan. 16, 2016, and parliamentary group meeting of the CHP on Jan. 19, 2016.

The was handled by the Ankara 17th Court of First Instance and attended by lawyers representing President Erdoğan and Kılıçdaroğlu.

Hüseyin Aydın, an attorney representing Erdoğan told the court that the main opposition leader’s statements meant to insult the president and attack his personality. Aydın added that Kılıçdaroğlu was continuing his discourse and demanded that a compensation of a “deterrent” amount of money.

The court ruled for TL25,000 to be paid by Kılıçdaroğlu in compensation in each trial, while Erdoğan’s lawyer originally requested TL50,000 for each.

In the recent years, Turkey has seen a massive rise in prosecution against social media users, including journalists, politicians and high profile figures, on charges of “insulting President Erdoğan”. Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ announced in early March that his ministry granted permission for prosecution of 1,845 individuals due to “insulting Erdoğan” between August 2014 and March 2016.

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