Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ has stated that the Justice Ministry has issued prosecution warrants for 1,845 libel suits with the content of “defaming the President”.
Bozdağ answering the questions of journalist after the budgetary proposal negotiations for 2016, has expressed that the insults against the President were embarrassing.
Bozdağ has said,
“Our Justice Ministry as of today has issued prosecution warrants for 1,845 libel suits filed due to defaming the president.
“I can’t even read the files and turn red in the face, they are heavy swears and not expression of thoughts, they are all insults and heavy swears. If they wish, I could pass some over to our MPs who want those but I don’t think they could read it without blushing. Nobody should have the freedom to swear”.
500% increase in libel cases of defaming the president
During his serving time both as a Prime Minister and President, various libel suits have been filed against many citizens on charges of defaming the president.
According to bianet’s Media Watch Report, 28 persons including 19 journalists and two cartoonists have been sentenced to 21 years 6 months 19 days of prison over defaming President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2015.
Answering former Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Melda Onur’s information request on March 17, 2015, Ministry of Justice has declared that during the seven years of serving time of former President 1,356 libel case applications had been made of which 545 had been accepted yet there had been no arrests. In the seven months of service of Erdoğan on the other hand, there has been 236 libel suit applications 105 of which have been accepted and eight persons have been arrested.
Ankara University Faculty of Political Science Asst. Prof. Dr. Kerem Altıparmak had noted that the 1,300 libel suits filed on charges of defaming President Erdoğan had indicated a 500% rise in libel suits of defaming the president compared to the service time of the 10th President Ahmet Necdet Sezer who saw 26 defamation cases during his presidential term. (ÇT/DG)
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