1,845 Cases Filed For 'Insulting' Turkish President In Just 18 Months
from the thin-skin dept
Okay, so it was already fairly obvious that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had something of a thin skin. This is the guy who is trying to put a local doctor in jail for posting a picture comparing Erdogan to Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.
And the stories keep on coming about prosecutions for “insulting” Erdogan. The most insane one started making news a few weeks ago, when a Turkish man filed a complaint against his own wife for apparently insulting Erdogan in their home.
According to news reports, the man, identified by the Yeni Safak newspaper as Ali D., had warned his wife of three years, G.D., not to curse Erdogan — a popular albeit polarizing political figure — when he appeared on television. She supposedly defied him, and dared him to lodge a legal case against her.
He duly obliged.
“I kept on warning her, saying why are you doing this? Our president is a good person and did good things for Turkey,” the husband is quoted as saying.
Incredibly, it appears that such complaints, which need to be approved by the Justice Ministry are coming in at a rate of over 100 per month. Erdogan has only been President for 18 months, and…
“The justice ministry has allowed 1,845 cases on charges of insulting Erdogan to go ahead,” Bekir Bozdag said, responding to questions in parliament.
“I am unable to read the shameful insults made against our president. I start to blush,” said Bozdag, who is from Erdogan’s ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party.
As the NY Times notes, while the law against insulting the President has been on the books, it has almost never been used until Erdogan took over the Presidency. And, frankly, it seems like Erdogan continuing to pursue such a strategy does much more to hurt his reputation than people telling jokes making fun of him:
The idea that Mr. Erdogan is so delicate that he would be grievously wounded by any language is hard to believe, and really beside the point. He is a ruthless and intolerant ruler who has proven that he does not really believe in and cannot abide his country?s democratic system. Democracy requires that citizens are able to speak out when necessary against their leaders.