A Turkish court has ordered Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP)deputy chair and party spokesperson Bülent Tezcan to pay non-pecuniary damages in the amount of TL 30,000 ($6,200) for calling Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a “fascist dictator.”
Erdoğan’s lawyer, Hüseyin Aydın, announced the court’s verdict on Twitter. “In the lawsuit for non-pecuniary damages we filed, the court ruled for a fine of TL 30,000. Those who violate our president’s personal rights will be held accountable, no matter their status,” Aydın tweeted on Thursday, according to a report by the Hürriyet Daily News.
At the hearing Tezcan’s lawyer, Celal Çelik, argued that his client’s remarks were not insulting. “Words such as ‘fascist’ and ‘dictator’ are entirely political notions. Politicians must put up with all sorts of criticism, even the most serious,” Çelik said, demanding the court reject the case.
Erdoğan had filed the complaint in 2017, asking for TL 50,000 in damages.
This is not the first time a senior figure from the main opposition party has been fined over remarks or comments about Erdoğan. In June a court in İstanbul ordered CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to pay non-pecuniary damages of TL 142,000 in a case filed by Erdoğan.
Kılıçdaroğlu had claimed that the president and his relatives hold offshore accounts on the Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea between England and Ireland. One day after the accusations were made, Erdoğan accused Kılıçdaroğlu of lying.
Back in 2016, Kılıçdaroğlu was also ordered to pay TL 50,000 to Erdoğan for calling him a “sham dictator.”