The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Dec. 6 launched a criminal investigation into main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu over allegedly “insulting the president.”
The prosecutor’s investigation comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan filed a criminal complaint against the CHP leader for his remarks.
The president’s lawyer, Hüseyin Aydın, posted the letter of complaint on his official Twitter account on Dec. 6, quoting a speech Kılıçdaroğlu delivered on Dec. 5.
The letter accuses Kılıçdaroğlu of voicing statements “that are part of a perception operation that the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization [FETÖ] has long been carrying out against our president.”
“The statements of the accused and the political party that he leads about our president overlap with the discourse of FETÖ,” the letter states.
In his Dec. 5 speech, Kılıçdaroğlu accused Erdoğan of “covering up” the initial investigation into Turkish-Iranian businessman Reza Zarrab and his relations with former Justice and Development Party (AKP) ministers and politicians.
“Who provided such sensitive information to Zarrab? All of it was provided by your ministers and by your government. Your government has betrayed the Republic of Turkey. It has given all state secrets to Zarrab in exchange for money,” he said.
Kılıçdaroğlu also noted that in April 2013 the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) provided then-Prime Minister Erdoğan with a note detailing the criminal activities of Zarrab and his alleged relations with AKP officials.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu strongly criticized Kılıçdaroğlu on Dec. 6, urging him to “prove his allegations” about the president’s close circle engaging in multi-million dollar traffic through an off-shore company in the tax haven Isle of Man.
“If it is proved that the relatives of our president don’t have money in the Isle of Man, they will see what we will put around [Kılıçdaroğlu’s] neck,” Soylu said, echoing a phrase used by the CHP leader.
“If he doesn’t prove his allegations it means he is ignoble and despicable. This man is a trickster,” he added.
Erdoğan and five other people that the CHP accused of engaging in money traffic have also filed a complaint against Kılıçdaroğlu for non-pecuniary damage