A Turkish court has issued a warrant against former German Green Party deputy Memet Kılıç over insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in an interview he gave in 2017.
Kılıç is being tried based on the interview he gave to online news website ABC published with the title “Charge of Genocide against Erdoğan: The Banana Republic treatment” on July 12, 2017.
During the first hearing of the case that was held in the absence of Kılıç in the capital Ankara on Dec. 17, Kılıç’s lawyer Veysel Ok said that his client’s defense must be taken in Germany, where the former lawmaker resides.
“Kılıç resides and works in Germany. I demand his defense statement to be taken in Germany and letters rogatory to be authorized immediately,” Ok told the court.
President Erdoğan’s lawyer, in return, said Germany often rejects such demands of letters rogatory in similar insult cases.
“Germany classifies these charges as ‘political offenses’ and refuses to respond to letters rogatory. For this reason, I demand a warrant to be issued against Memet Kılıç,” he said, prompting Ok to object, while saying that he would take necessary actions to make sure that Kılıç’s defense would be provided in Germany.
The court, however, ruled in favor of Erdoğan’s lawyer and decided to issue a warrant against Kılıç, which means that he will be taken in police custody upon entry to Turkey in order for his defense to be taken.
Ok slammed the court’s decision.
“You issued this warrant without even trying the course of letters rogatory. I wish you tried this course first and then issued a warrant if Germany denied such a demand. You took the President’s lawyers word for granted and ruled only by listening to their statement,” he said.
“They didn’t even provide any document that shows that Germany actually refuses letters rogatory requests in ‘insult’ cases. What you’re doing will only drag the prosecution,” Ok added.
The next hearing of the case will be held on Feb. 26, 2020.