Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vice President Fuat Oktay have filed separate criminal complaints against main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu over his call to the country’s bureaucrats not to obey unlawful orders from the government.
In a video message posted on Twitter on Saturday, Kılıçdaroğlu had said bureaucrats should refrain from engaging in the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) unlawful acts since the government would soon change hands and investigations would be launched into such acts.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks led to criticism among the AKP ranks, with many accusing the main opposition leader of urging bureaucrats to disobey and to disrupt the public order.
Erdoğan’s lawyers filed a criminal complaint against Kılıçdaroğlu on accusations that he insulted the president in his call to bureaucrats. The lawyers, who filed the complaint at the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Monday, demanded that Kılıçdaroğlu stand trial.
Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey, according to the controversial Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). Whoever insults the president can face up to four years in prison, a sentence that can be increased if the crime was committed through the mass media.
“I am saying this frankly: You cannot serve the mafia-like order in the name of your job. You cannot consider illegal acts to be orders. You are the honorable officers of this state, not of the Erdoğan family,” Kılıçdaroğlu told the bureaucrats.
Vice President Oktay filed the criminal complaint against Kılıçdaroğlu due to his remarks in the video where he accused the government of establishing a parallel state by filling state posts with its cronies in the wake of a scandal involving a pro-government foundation.
Oktay tweeted on Monday that Kılıçdaroğlu was trying to create the perception that there is a parallel state in Turkey and was threatening bureaucrats and casting doubt on their actions.
Kılıçdaroğlu’s call to bureaucrats came after journalist Metin Cihan last week disclosed a document including information on some executives and members of the Turkey Youth Foundation (TÜGVA), on whose advisory board President Erdoğan’s son Bilal Erdoğan sits, who as a result of nepotism were appointed to posts in the Turkish military, police force and judiciary.