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According to the Constitutional Court's decision published on the Official Gazette, "there is no violation of freedom of expression" in the trial, in which the Republican People's Party (CHP) Chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was sentenced to pay President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 10,000 TL (2,133 Euro) compensation for his remarks at two group meetings of the CHP.
Professor of Law Yaman Akdeniz has criticized the decision on Twitter.
Group speeches considered a crime
The subject of the trial was the Kılıçdaroğlu's speech at the Grand National Assembly (TBMM) Group meetings on January 31 and February 7, 2012.
In his speech on January 31, concerning the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) trial (the corruption trial regarding the charity association Deniz Feneri) Kılıçdaroğlu had said regarding then-Prime Minister Erdoğan:
"Thieves and corrupts, if you don't want to be in trouble, contact [...] Mr. Prime Minister first, before you get involved into any theft and corruption, no one can touch you then.
"Mr. Prime Minister, you are not religious, you are a religion-monger. You are a man who exploits religious people's beliefs".
For his speech on February 7, 2012, Kılıçdaroğlu was sued by Erdoğan for "defamation" as well. In his speech, he said:
"Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a religion-monger disguised as a religious man. For the first time I am confronted with such an immoral Prime Minister [...].
Ankara 1st Civil Court of First Instance sentenced Kılıçdaroğlu to a compensation payment of 5,000 TL (1,066 Euro) for each speech for defamation. The Supreme Court of Appeals affirmed the court's decision on December 11, 2013.
Following the Supreme Court of Appeals' affirmative decision, Kılıçdaroğlu applied to the Constitutional Court claiming that the compensation payment order was a violation of his freedom of expression. (EA/DG)
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