Arrest warrant issued for social media user for calling MHP chair Bahçeli 'senile'

On top of criminal charges, a Turkish social media user is facing an arrest warrant for calling MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli a “senile" politician who needs to “be put in an old people's home.” Turkish prosecutors are demanding between one year and 28 months in jail for the social media user in question.

MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli is seen addressing a party meeting in this file photo.

Duvar English

Turkish prosecutors have launched an investigation to a social media user over a comment about Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, online news portal Bianet reported on May 24.

The Ankara 2nd Criminal Court of Peace also issued an arrest warrant for the social media user in question who called Bahçeli a “senile” politician.

The prosecutors are demanding that the social media user receive a jail sentence between one year and 28 months on charges of “insulting a public official.”

The social media user had made the remarks in a Facebook comment to daily Sözcü's news report about the politician. 

“Put him in an old people's home already. He has become severely senile and gone out of his head by constantly changing sides,” the social media user had said.

Once a implacable foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Bahçeli threw his support behind the president following the 2016 failed military coup.

The MHP later played a key role in backing Erdoğan’s plan to greatly expand his powers as president through a referendum in 2017. Afterwards, the two parties formed an electoral alliance known as the People's Alliance.