Turkey's Erdogan sues opposition party leader over 'humiliating' comments

Turkey's Erdogan sues opposition party leader over 'humiliating' comments
President Erdgoan is suing the leader of Turkey's opposition party over "slanderous" comments made about him and his family, state media reported.
2 min read
24 November, 2017
The president is suing Turkey's opposition leader over "humiliating, insulting, false accusations" [Getty]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is suing the main opposition party chief, seeking hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages over "slanderous" comments about him and his family, state media reported.

Ahmet Ozel, a lawyer for Erdogan, made an application to an Istanbul civil court for 1.5 million Turkish liras ($380,000) in compensation for "spiritual damage" from Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, state-run news agency Anadolu reported on Friday.

Kilicdaroglu on Tuesday demanded to know whether Erdogan was "aware" that his family, including his children, were "sending millions of dollars of money to tax havens", Anadolu reported.

"Do your children have millions of dollars sent to overseas accounts?" Kilicdaroglu asked during the CHP group meeting in parliament.

The comments were "slander" against the president, Ozel said, describing them as "humiliating, insulting, false accusations", Anadolu reported.

The move comes after Turkish prosecutors launched an investigation last month into CHP spokesman Bulent Tezcan on charges of "insulting the president" after he called Erdogan a "fascist dictator".

A similar investigation was launched in 2016 against Kilicdaroglu after he repeatedly called Erdogan a "tinpot dictator".

Thousands of Turks have been prosecuted in recent years, including cartoonists, a former Miss Turkey winner and schoolchildren, on accusations of insulting Erdogan but most of the complaints did not lead to jail time.

Following the failed July 15 coup last year, Erdogan said he would drop outstanding cases in a one-off gesture.