Erdogan’s Lawyer Files ‘Insult’ Complaint against HDP Co-Chair


Selahattin Demirtas

Selahattin Demirtas

ANKARA (Anadolu Agency) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s lawyer has filed a criminal complaint against Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas, claiming that the latter “insulted” him in a recent speech.

The indictment filed to the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s Office by Erdogan’s lawyer Hüseyin Aydin included related sections from Demirtas’s speech at a HDP meeting in the southern province of Mersin on February 27.

It said these statements amounted to “insulting the president,” which is a crime according to Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code.

During his party’s Mersin meeting, Demirtas had said: “He [Erdogan] wants to be the caliphate of Islam. But thieves cannot be caliphs.”

The indictment said Kurdish-issue focused HDP co-chair Demirtas’s remarks “cannot be considered within the scope of freedom of thought and expression.”

It also said they “cannot be defended legally as they amounted to statements beneath one’s dignity and honor.”

Since becoming president in August 2014, Erdogan’s lawyers have filed hundreds of lawsuits over alleged “insults” uttered by schoolchildren, journalists, and opposition politicians.