Muharrem İnce, a former deputy for Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), has filed lawsuits against journalists Rahmi Turan and Talat Atilla over their claim that he met with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential palace, the pro-government Hürriyet newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Speaking to Hürriyet, İnce said he was slandered and that he decided to pursue charges against the two journalists in an attempt to “save his honor.”
Turan had first reported in a column that Erdoğan had a meeting with an unnamed member of the CHP at his presidential palace, promising to help the politician become the new head of the party.
Later, he said the politician in question was İnce, citing Atilla as his source. Atilla said the original source was a CHP member.
İnce told Hürriyet that the party should also file a lawsuit against Atilla as “it is their job to find out the source.”
Turan’s report was denied by both İnce and Erdoğan’s office.
İnce has repeatedly led failed attempts to replace the party’s current chairman, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.
He was also unsuccessful in his presidential campaign against Erdoğan in 2018.