Local court insists on taking MHP leader's testimony 'since everyone is equal'

A local court in the northwestern province of Sakarya has insisted on taking the MHP leader's testimony as the aggrieved party "since everyone is equal." The court sought Bahçeli's testimony in the case into a Turkish national launched for "insulting" the party leader.

Duvar English

A local court in the northwestern province of Sakarya has prompted a crisis when it asked Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli to give his testimony as the aggrieved party in a case that a Turkish national is accused of insulting him on social media. 

The court in Sakarya's Hendek district sent a notice to an Ankara court in order for Bahçeli's testimony to be taken, but was met with rejection since the party leader's "thoughts on whether he wants to give his testimony or not should have been asked due to his status as a member of parliament." 

Upon the return of the notice, the Hendek court said that Bahçeli enjoys no privileges in the face of the judiciary and sent the notice back to Ankara with the same demand, ankaragazetecisi.com reported.  

"Bahçeli is equal to Turkish citizens before the law even though he is a lawmaker and a leader of a political party. The law stipulates that the complainant's testimony must be taken by the court," the Sakarya court said. 

The Turkish judiciary is under the heavy influence of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which is allied with the MHP. Politically-motivated rulings are frequently issued by the courts against the critics of the government.