Interior Ministry preparing to file criminal complaint against main opposition chair over 'militant' remarks

Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Jan. 26 that the ministry will file a criminal complaint against main opposition CHP chair Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for throwing his support behind former CHP MP Berhan Şimşek, who called governors and districts “militants” while criticizing the ruling AKP's policies.

This collage photo shows CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu (L) and Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

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Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu announced on Jan. 26 that the ministry is preparing to file a criminal complaint against main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu after the latter threw his support behind a former CHP lawmaker who called governors and district governors “militants.”

“We will file a criminal complaint against Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu who called our governors and district governors militants. My suggestion to Mr. Kılıçdaroğlu's friends is that they convince him to go through treatment,” Soylu said in a statement which he shared on Twitter.

Soylu also accused Kılıçdaroğlu of cooperating with municipality officials and lawmakers who the government accuses of links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

“Kılıçdaroğlu's problem is evident. 'Do not touch my militants!' We will touch them. We have also sent a copy of the criminal complaint against the criminals of this one-party era to our governors, who have been called militants and insulted,” Soylu said.

Kılıçdaroğlu on Jan. 26 threw his support behind former CHP MP Berhan Şimşek, who is facing an investigation for referring to governors as “militants” during a TV program last week.

“Governors are militants, district governors are militants, judges are militants. We are seeing the decisions that are taken,” Şimşek said on Habertürk TV, while criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)'s policies.

On Jan. 23, Interior Ministry filed a lawsuit against Şimşek over charges of “insulting and slandering the Turkish nation and Turkish Republic,” in a move which was slammed by Kılıçdaroğlu.

“There are several militants. Who is the one distributing children's report cards in Tekirdağ? AKP provincial chairman. Who gives them? Director of National Education. Here are the militants. The Interior Ministry writes a notice to all governor's offices, telling them to file lawsuits. If you do not file a lawsuit, you are despicable. You are all militants. You are the militants of corruption and immorality,” Kılıçdaroğlu said during the parliamentary party meeting on Jan. 26.