Main opposition Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu is to pay President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a settlement of 50,000 TL after Erdoğan filed a lawsuit against Kılıçdaroğlu over comments he made during a speech in parliament last year.
Erdoğan’s lawyers had initially requested a sum of 1 million TL, alleging that the opposition leader had violated Erdoğan’s rights. The president has filed a stream of similar lawsuits over the years against Kılıçdaroğlu.
One of Erdoğan’s lawyers contended that “the limit of freedom of expression is the right to protect one’s honor, dignity and respect.”
“When taking into consideration political positions, the parties need to deal with even the most harsh of criticisms,” said Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawyer Nihal Cengiz.
In order to pay previous damages awarded to Erdoğan for cases he filed against Kılıçdaroğlu, the latter reportedly sold his summer home last year, refusing financial assistance offers from party members, saying if that there was a price to pay, he would pay it.
President Erdoğan has become famously known for his penchant for launching a wide range of lawsuits against those he has determined to have insulted him. Former Miss Turkey Merve Büyüksaraç was convicted on charges of insulting the president for Instagram posts she shared in 2016.
Even high school students have not escaped the president’s wrath, such as in a 2014 incident when a 16-year-old boy in the city of Konya was taken into custody after he read a statement that was critical of Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
In 2013, a number of high-school student activists in the province of Giresun were sued by Erdoğan for defamation after they mocked the then-PM Erdoğan and the lightbulb logo of the AKP.
Thousands of people in recent years from different age groups, occupations and walks of life from throughout the country have been sued by Erdoğan on grounds that they insulted him.