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.

Erdogan, when he was Prime Minister, also sued his own government for failing to shut down or block accounts on Twitter that were saying things about him that he disliked.

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.

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Comments on “1,845 Cases Filed For 'Insulting' Turkish President In Just 18 Months”

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27 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Sad part is that the EU will have to let them join. Right now Turkey can do pretty much anything they want and the EU has to say “Well done!” because if they don’t then Turkey will send them 100k refugees each month for the next 2 years.

Latest thing was to demand €3 billion per year from the EU to hold back the (Syrian) refugees. Turkey says they spent €10 billion over the last 5 years so the €3 billion the EU paid them already should be paid every year. And I am sure that the extra billion will be used for the good of the people in Turkey…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Upside is that there are two layers in it: The official stance of european politicians which is based on real-politik and the ideological side. In real-politik Turkey is humiliating EU. But on the ideological side, Erdogan is winning nothing in regards to joining EU. He may force EU to open up the frozen negotiations a bit, but he is also creating a heavy antipathy from EU politicians. Since the politicians will have to accept Turkey into EU in the end, he is basically taking a short term win and a long term loss…

Anonymous Coward says:

Erdogan isn’t gollum for one good reason.
Gollum still had the (faint) ability to turn himself around and become good. It made people sad when he didn’t manage to repent and turn himself around.

When someone finally wipes the smug look off Erdogan’s face in an armed revolution, no-one is going to feel sad at all except the guy he has stashing away billions for when Erdogan tries to flee the country.

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