Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched an investigation into journalist Can Ataklı over his comments that he did not find it likely for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to “leave power with an election.”
Ataklı is accused of “instigating people into vengeance and animosity,” said pro-government newspaper Sabah on Jan. 4.
The investigation into the journalist was launched upon a lawsuit filed by an organization named “Kardeşlik Derneği,” which translates as “Fraternity Association.”
The investigation concerns Ataklı's remarks on a video posted on his YouTube channel. “Would Erdoğan go away with an election? According to me, no. For me, it does not seem likely for Tayyip Erdoğan to leave power with an election. What does it mean 'not going away with election'? Will then a coup take place? I am one of those people who see the possibility of a coup least likely,” Ataklı says in the video.
“For Tayyip Erdoğan to leave power, there needs to exist a very big public anger. A very big natural disaster, a very big earthquake, or another natural disaster...A very big flood, very big fires...But what is the scariest is that Turkey goes through a military failure,” he says.
Sabah claimed that Ataklı's remarks were suggestive of a coup attempt against Erdoğan.
Many journalists and opposition figures have been accused of being “pro-coup” following their statements critical of Erdoğan.
Last year, main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) Istanbul chair Canan Kaftancıoğlu said during an interview with Halk TV that she expected "a change of the ruling power with an early election or in another way."
Several ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) officials as well as pro-government media outlets have interpreted Kaftancıoğlu's phrase of “in another way” as “calling for a coup,” with even some issuing a threat message for the CHP official.
The Turkish Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) at the time ordered a halt to the program on Halk TV for five episodes, while also ruling for an administrative fine, over Kaftancıoğlu's on-air comments.