Four judges face investigation for acquitting man in MHP chair Bahçeli 'insult' case

Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has launched an investigation into four Antalya judges who ruled for the acquittal of a man accused of "insulting" MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli. The man was facing charges for referring to Bahçeli as "renegade," "weathercock" and "AKP's spare wheel."

Duvar English

Turkey’s Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK) has launched an investigation into four judges for acquitting a man who was standing trial on charges of “insulting” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli, a staunch ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), daily Cumhuriyet reported on June 15.

The case concerns a man who wrote on his social media account in 2017: “I cannot still comprehend why an honest, nationalist MHP voter would follow renegade, weathercock Bahçeli, who is a spare wheel of the AKP. The every vote that they cast for the MHP goes to the AKP. Are these people so stupid?”

Upon the complaint of Bahçeli's lawyer, an investigation was then launched into the man. A judge in the southern province of Antalya ruled in decision that politicians “need to be more tolerant in the face of harsh criticism” and acquitted the man in the case. The acquittal decision was later approved by three other judges in the Ankara Regional Court.

Two courts' decisions did not stop Bahçeli from giving up on his case, who this time filed a complaint against the four Antalya judges at the HSK. Daily Cumhuriyet said that Bahçeli's lawyer Nizameddin Kocabey is the son of Hamit Kocabey -- a member of the HSK's First Chamber where the application was filed.

The HSK's First Chamber evaluated the case and ruled that the four Antalya judges should face an investigation for the acquittal decision.

Once Justice Minister Abdulahmit Gül approved of the investigation permit, the HSK on May 20 asked four judges to submit their defenses within seven days. The HSK's Second Chamber will give the final decision regarding the investigation.