Turkey’s Erdoğan sues CHP leader this time for TL 500,000 in non-pecuniary damages

Turkey's autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and main opposition CHP's leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Thursday once again filed a lawsuit against Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 500,000 in non-pecuniary damages for allegedly violating his personal rights during a speech at the CHP parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.

Kılıçdaroğlu accused President Erdoğan of having links to the Gülen movement and of being “the prominent name in the political links of the Gülen movement” at the CHP’s weekly parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday. “The number one actor of the political leg of the movement is the individual who occupies the presidential chair at the palace. The name of that individual is Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” he said.

Hüseyin Aydın, a lawyer representing President Erdoğan, has filed a complaint at an Ankara court based on Kılıçdaroğlu’s April 3 speech which, he claimed, “aimed to assault and violate personal rights.”

Erdoğan had also filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 250,000 last Thursday in non-pecuniary damages for allegedly violating his personal rights during a speech at another CHP parliamentary group meeting.

Erdoğan had filed lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 250,000 in non-pecuniary damages for violating his personal rights on Feb. 9, 2018 over Kılıçdaroğlu’s accusation of his intervening in the fight against terrorism by calling Erdoğan a supporter of terrorism.

Erdoğan on Jan. 12, 2018 also filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 150,000 in non-pecuniary damages for violating his personal rights in a speech delivered by the CHP leader in front of the Beşiktaş municipal building on Jan. 5. On Jan. 8, Erdoğan filed a criminal complaint against Kılıçdaroğlu for the same speech.

Erdoğan on Dec. 29, 2017 filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 250,000 in non-pecuniary damages for violating his personal rights during speeches on Dec. 22 and Dec. 24.

Erdoğan and members of his family on Dec. 1 filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 1.5 million ($380,000) in damages for creating hatred in society against the president and his family during a speech on Nov. 28.

Kılıçdaroğlu said during his party meeting in Parliament on Nov. 28 that Erdoğan’s brother-in-law, brother, son and son’s father-in-law and his former executive assistant sent about $15 million to an offshore company called Bellway, Ltd., on the Isle of Man between December 2011 and January 2012.

On Nov. 24, 2017 Erdoğan filed another lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu for TL 1.5 million in non-pecuniary damages due to a speech on Nov. 21.

Turkey survived a controversial military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 that killed 249 people. Immediately after the putsch, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government along with autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan pinned the blame on the Gülen movement.

Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, strongly denied having any role in the failed coup and called for an international investigation into it, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Turkey has suspended or dismissed more than 150,000 judges, teachers, police and other civil servants since July 2016. Turkey’s interior minister announced on December 12, 2017 that 55,665 people have been arrested. On December 13, the Justice Ministry announced that 169,013 people have been the subject of legal proceedings on coup charges since the failed coup.

A total of 48,305 people were arrested by courts across Turkey in 2017 over their alleged links to the Gülen movement, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Dec. 2, 2017. “The number of detentions is nearly three times higher,” Soylu told a security meeting in İstanbul and claimed that “even these figures are not enough to reveal the severity of the issue.”

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