Turkey's opposition leftist People's Liberation Party (HKP) as well as a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's (CHP) have filed a criminal complaint against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after he referred to Gezi Park protestors as “sluts” (“sürtük” in Turkish).
The criminal complaint submitted by the HKP to the prosecutor's office said that Erdoğan had committed the crime of “insulting” millions of people and “inciting people into animosity and hatred,” Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.
The party also called on citizens to similarly launch a lawsuit against the president, sharing a petition which they can use. “You can download the petition for the criminal complaint from the link below,” read the HKP's tweet.
Halkımıza #sürtük diyen Tayyip Erdoğan hakkında Türkiye'nin dört bir yanında suç duyurusunda bulunuyoruz. Tüm halkımızı bizimle birlikte suç duyurusunda bulunmaya davet ediyoruz.— HKP (@kurtuluspartisi) June 2, 2022
Suç duyurusu dilekçesini aşağıdaki linkten indirebilirsiniz:https://t.co/GAFKGKRSz8 pic.twitter.com/o4fg5D9YyG
CHP İzmir deputy Sevda Erdan Kılıç also announced on her Twitter account that she filed a criminal complaint against the president over his remarks.
AKP Genel Başkanı Erdoğan’ın onurlu Gezi direnişine katılan yurttaşlarımız hakkında sarf ettiği #sürtük sözünden dolayı hakkında suç duyurusunda bulundum. #GeziyeÖzgürlük#Gezi9yasinda https://t.co/BvmCVMmtus— Av. Sevda Erdan Kılıç (@SEVDAERDAN) June 2, 2022
Meanwhile, İlhan Taşçı, an opposition member of Turkey's media watchdog RTÜK, called on the organization to probe Erdoğan's remarks, saying that the use of such profane words “against millions of citizens during a live broadcast is unimaginable and unacceptable.”
In his petition to RTÜK, Taşçı said: “As per its law, RTÜK needs to keep its equal distance to all citizens and all broadcasters whatever their position is. RTÜK cannot turn a dear ear to such vulgar and profane language that was heard by 84 million people.”
AKP Genel Başkanı Sn Erdoğan’ın sözlerinin incelenmesi için RTÜK’e dilekçeyle başvurdum.— İlhan Taşcı (@ilhantasci) June 2, 2022
Tüm yurttaşlarına “Efendiler” diye seslenen Atatürk’ün kurduğu Türkiye’de hiç kimsenin kimseye hakaret etme, kaba dil kullanma hakkı ve “özgürlüğü” olamaz.
RTÜK de tepkilere kulak tıkayamaz! pic.twitter.com/v6Nc0mfbB1
On June 1, Erdoğan once again attacked Gezi Park protestors, calling them “terrorists and sluts.” “They [Gezi Park protestors] are rotten to the core, they are sluts,” Erdoğan said in remarks which soon became a trending topic on Twitter, facing a severe backlash among citizens.
Gezi Park protests initially began in Istanbul in May 2013 as a reaction to renovation plans of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which aimed to construct a replica Ottoman barracks on the city's few remaining green spots. The protests later grew into nationwide protests and spread to other cities.