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Opposition MP files lawsuit against Erdoğan over ‘shameless’ remarks

CHP lawmaker Engin Altay

A lawmaker from Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has filed a lawsuit against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to his remarks targeting him, Turkish media outlets reported.

Erdoğan publicly attacked CHP deputy group chairman Engin Altay over statements Altay made during a TV program when he pointed to similarities between the policies of Erdoğan and a former minister.

“Oh you shameless, nasty man,” Erdoğan told Altay.

Altay filed a lawsuit seeking TL 128,000 in damages against Erdoğan, claiming the president’s remarks were insulting.

Turkish prosecutors last week launched an investigation into Altay, accusing him of issuing threats against Erdoğan.

In a program on the pro-government A Haber TV last week, Altay talked about the similarities between the policies of Erdoğan and Adnan Menderes, a former prime minister who was executed following a military coup in Turkey in 1960, toward religious groups. He said like Erdoğan, Menderes also made concessions to religious groups, which spoiled them, forcing Menderes to push ahead with a law to protect Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the nation’s founder, apparently because those groups attacked Atatürk and his legacy.

“I hope Erdoğan will not have an end similar to that of Menderes,” Altay said, criticizing Erdoğan for flirting with some religious groups in the country.

Due to these remarks he is accused of threatening Erdoğan with execution under the 106th article of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which requires a prison sentence of between six months and two years.

Erdoğan frequently takes legal action against his critics. Hundreds of people face charges of insulting Erdoğan or his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials every day.

Altay accused Erdoğan of distorting his remarks and being disturbed by hearing the truth, adding that he has no right to insult a member of the Turkish Parliament.

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