Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a lawsuit against a main opposition party politician seeking TL 250,000 ($30,000) in damages for remarks accusing Erdoğan of being the leader of a criminal gang, Turkish media outlets reported.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Aykut Erdoğdu made the comments that apparently angered Erdoğan on Tuesday. Erdoğdu said on social media that he was being followed, his phones were being wiretapped and reporters from the pro-government ATV-Sabah media group were calling his friends to blackmail him. He did not reveal the content of the alleged blackmail but hinted that it was about his private life.
“What I have written here concerns Erdoğan first and foremost. … You are the founder of this monstrous order that has victimized millions of people without the slightest hint of mercy. You are the number one of this criminal gang,” Erdoğdu told Erdoğan.
The CHP politician also said he would do his best to make sure that Erdoğan is tried for treason after he loses the presidency following the next elections.
Erdoğan lawyer Hüseyin Aydın announced on Wednesday that Erdoğdu’s remarks went beyond the limits of freedom of speech and attacked Erdoğan’s personality, hence the president filed a lawsuit against him in addition to filing a criminal complaint about the CHP lawmaker at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. An investigation was subsequently launched into Erdoğdu following the complaint.
Erdoğan has repeatedly sued people including opposition politicians for alleged insults since he took office as president in 2014. Thousands have been convicted.