Turkey's Deputy Interior Minister Bülent Turan demanded 20,000 Turkish Liras in compensation from a citizen despite the absence of a court decision.
Turan in 2022 targeted the opposition when he was ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) parliamentary group deputy chairman and said, "2023 Elections will between those who built the world's biggest bridge in Çanakkale province and those numbskulls who think that the bridge was only a subject of polemic and that they will throw us into the sea from it."
Turan's use of the expression "numbskulls (dangalak in Turkish)" against the opposition drew great reaction and a citizen used the same expression against Turan on his social media account, according to reporting of daily BirGün.
Upon this, Bülent Turan filed a criminal complaint against them and claimed that they committed the offence of "insulting a public official with an audio, written and video message." Subsequently, a lawsuit was filed against the citizen in question.
Appearing before the judge, the citizen admitted that they have used this expression on Twitter. In his defence, the citizen stated that the expression "numbskull" was not an insult and that it meant "loudmouth" in colloquial terms.
However, in February 2023, the court sentenced them to a judicial fine of 7,080 liras and ordered them to pay 9,200 liras for judicial expenses.
Although the court did not award compensation for “non-pecuniary damages,” the Deputy Interior Minister initiated an enforcement proceedings of 20,000 liras against the citizen as if such a decision had been made.
The citizen stated that they “applied to the court against this unlawful request.”
On the other hand, it is also known that Turan has sued many citizens due to the same remarks.
Another citizen, who responded to Turan's "numbskull" statement on social media, used the expressions "You are the real numbskull." Upon Turan's complaint, a lawsuit was filed against the citizen due to "insulting a public official.”
The court, noting that the word "numbskull" constituted an insult, sentenced the citizen to a fine for "insulting a public official.” There has been no legal consequences against Turan who used the same term for citizens.