Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğluhas been sentenced by a court to pay 185,000 Turkish Liras in compensation for “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The June 7 ruling was based on a complaint filed by Erdoğan over Kılıçdaroğlu’s claim that the president and some of his relatives have transferred large amounts of money into low-tax offshore accounts in the Isle of Man.
Kılıçdaroğlu stated late last year that the president’s close circle engaged in multi-million dollar traffic through an off-shore company in the tax haven Isle of Man, later providing receipts of the transfers too.
The latest “insult” case against the CHP leader is the latest in a series of such criminal investigations into Kılıçdaroğlu, including one launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office on Dec. 6.
The letter accused 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 authorities today refer to the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen as “FETÖ,” although it was once a close ally of Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
“The statements of the accused and the political party that he leads about our president overlap with the discourse of FETÖ,” the letter added.