An Ankara prosecutor in a summary of proceedings from the Ministry of Justice has asked parliament for removal of the immunity from prosecution of main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to facilitate a trial in a case brought by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, Turkish media reported.
In a June 2018 TV show Kılıçdaroğlu had said he sued the minister, but only for the nominal amount of 5 kuruş as he was not worth more and to demonstrate to the public that he is not a man of honor.
The prosecutor’s office decided that Soylu has the right to proceed against the opposition leader for insult and asked for the removal of his political immunity.
The slightest criticism of the president is considered an insult in Turkey, 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.
Minister Soylu in an unprecedented call had asked mayoral candidates from the main opposition CHP to express hatred for fellow deputy and human rights activist Sezgin Tanrıkulu.
“Let the candidates such as Ekrem İmamoglu and Mansur Yavaş [opposition mayoral candidates for İstanbul and Ankara, respectively] say ‘I hate Tanrıkulu and deputies like him,” the minister said at an election event in Istanbul on Saturday, claiming that Tanrıkulu is a supporter of a terrorist organization. Soylu based his accusation on Tanrıkulu’s attendance at funerals of members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Soylu went further and urged opposition candidates to say that they are “disgusted” by being in the same party as Tanrıkulu.