Defense minister files criminal complaint against opposition deputy for insult

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Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who served as chief of general staff during a coup attempt in July 2016, on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against an opposition deputy over remarks critical of him in parliament.

Akar claimed that Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Özgür Özel insulted him after a debate between the two over Akar’s record during his tenure as military chief.

On Dec. 17 Özel criticized Akar for not supporting his jailed colleagues during the controversial Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials starting in 2006 in which a number of generals were indicted for allegedly plotting a coup. In addition, Özel questioned Akar’s reaction to events on the night of the failed coup attempt in 2016. After Akar filed the complaint, Özel once again asked who the people in charge of the coup attempt were and who allegedly pointed a gun at Akar’s head on the night of July 15.

A few days ago President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the opposition deputy for targeting the defense minister. “First damages, then punishment,” Erdoğan said in reference to Özel’s remarks in parliament.

Özel claimed that the minister was following Erdoğan’s orders when he filed a complaint against him.

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