Turkish court fines pro-gov’t journalist for calling HDP MPs ‘terrorists’

A Turkish court has fined pro-government columnist Cem Küçük 6,620 liras for calling HDP deputies Hüda Kaya and Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu "terrorists."

This collage photo shows pro-gov’t journalist Cem Küçük (C) and HDP MPs Hüda Kaya (L) and Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu.

Duvar English

Cem Küçük, a journalist who staunchly supports President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, was given a judicial fine of 6,620 liras for calling pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies Hüda Kaya and Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu “terrorists," ANKA News Agency reported on July 25.

In February 2021, Küçük said during a program on Habertürk TV that “Hüda Kaya and Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, these two are terrorists, one with a tie and the other with a headscarf. They can sue me as much as they want, these two are terrorist deputies.” 

Afterwards, both deputies filed criminal complaints against Küçük for “insulting” them. 

An Ankara court on July 19 fined Küçük for 6,620 Turkish liras.

The court also decided that the verdict will not be deferred because Küçük had committed this crime at a time period for which his sentence for another offense was already deferred.  

Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu told ANKA News Agency that “This conviction is important. Because people who think it is very easy to insult and slander people in public should be punished.”

“We absolutely believe in freedom of expression, but we do our best to ensure that insults do not go unpunished,” he added.