CHP deputy might be investigated for calling Erdoğan a ‘shepherd’

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Abdüllatif Şener

A Turkish prosecutor has prepared a summary of proceedings against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Abdüllatif Şener for referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a “shepherd,” the T24 news website reported on Friday.

Şener, who is also one of the co-founders of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), entered Parliament from the ranks of the CHP in the general election of June 24 in 2018. The politician parted ways with the AKP in 2007.

In a tweet posted on Oct. 31, 2017, Şener said, “The administration of the country has turned into one like the shepherd-herd relationship.” He was complaining about Erdoğan’s authoritarian tendencies and silencing of dissent in the country.

Şener recently tweeted that the summary of proceedings against him was prepared for calling Erdoğan a “shepherd” on the grounds that he insulted the president.

“It is obvious that a prison sentence of 4-5 years will be sought for me. However, he [Erdoğan] once said, he is a shepherd, too. Moreover, millions of people called former prime minister and president Süleyman Demirel, ‘Shepherd Sülo’ [an abbreviation of his name] for 40 years, and no investigation was launched into anybody,” Şener tweeted.

The prosecution of members of Parliament has been possible since the CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) lent support to a 2016 proposal submitted by the ruling AKP on removing deputies’ immunity from prosecution.

The immunity of all deputies who face investigation was lifted in May 2016.

Hundreds of people in Turkey, even including high school students, face charges of insulting President Erdoğan. The slightest criticism is considered insult, and there has been a rise in the number of cases in which people inform on others claiming that they insulted the president, the government or government officials.

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