Erdoğan takes main opposition leader to court for compensation over ‘insult’

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has taken main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to court for his remarks describing him a “sham dictator,” and asked for compensation for non-pecuniary damages.

In their petition filed to the Ankara Civil Court of First Instance on Jan. 18, Erdoğan’s lawyers quoted Kılıçdaroğlu’s speech delivered during a convention of his party on Jan. 16, and said their client’s “honor and reputation” was targeted by Kılıçdaroğlu’s “extraordinarily weighty insults.”

“There is no public interest in the speech subject to the case. The defendant did not taken public interest into account while criticizing our client; he has exceeded the boundaries of criticism and attacked the personality rights of our client, while it was possible to make criticism with expressions other than these unfair and unlawful expressions,” the state-run Anadolu Agency quoted the lawyers as saying in their petition, demanding that Kılıçdaroğlu pay 100,000 Turkish Liras for non-pecuniary damages.

The complaint filed by Erdoğan’s lawyers followed a probe launched by prosecutors earlier on Jan. 18 into Kılıçdaroğlu for the same remarks.

In September 2015, a local court in Ankara ordered Kılıçdaroğlu to pay 20,000 liras in compensation to Erdoğan for insulting the head of state.

Erdoğan took Kılıçdaroğlu to court over playing leaked tape recordings involving corruption claims that engulfed former government officials during his tenure as prime minister, before he was elected as president in August 2014.

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