3 political parties file complaints against journalist for allegedly insulting Turkey

Journalist Ayşenur Arslan

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), its far-right ally the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the small, nationalist Grand Unity Party (BBP) have filed separate complaints against veteran journalist Ayşenur Arslan accusing her of “insulting Turkey and the Turkish nation,” Turkish Minute reported, citing local media.

AKP lawyer Muhammer Cemaloğlu, MHP lawyer Kürşat Türker Ercan and BBP lawyer Zekai Yiğit on Friday filed separate complaints against Arslan with the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office.

According to Turkish media reports, the parties accused the journalist of “insulting Turkey and the Turkish nation” in remarks on the Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT).

The TMT was a Turkish Cypriot paramilitary organization formed by Rauf Denktaş, the founding president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), and Turkish military officer Rıza Vuruşkan in 1958 to counter the Greek Cypriot National Organization of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA).

Turkish Cypriots supported a partition of the island of Cyprus into Turkish and Greek sections, while Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration supported a federation on Cyprus.

During a program on Halk TV, Arslan said the TMT was a “semi-official organization known for [carrying out] assassinations.”

Defining the TMT as “a symbol of just and legitimate resistance founded with the support of Turkey for the struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people against EOKA,” the AKP said in its complaint that it was impossible to understand why the journalist had such a point of view despite being a Turkish citizen and why she had spoken against the TMT.

“In this context, it’s not possible to accept the statement made by the suspect legally, as well as in terms of morals and conscience,” the AKP added, accusing Arslan based on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which criminalizes public denigration of “Turkishness, the Republic or Grand National Assembly of Turkey.”

The KKTC, a breakaway state recognized only by Turkey, was founded after Turkey, using its guarantor rights to intervene, occupied northern Cyprus in 1974 in response to a brief Greek-initiated coup attempting to seize control of the island in a bid to unite it with Greece, a move that divided the island.

According to observers, dozens of civilians lost their lives during Turkey’s incursion, while nearly 300,000 people were displaced due to airstrikes and clashes as Greek Cypriots fled south while Turkish Cypriots living in southern Cyprus fled north.

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