Turkish MP Şık sues far-right leader for targeting him during speech

Turkish lawmaker Ahmet Şık has filed a criminal complaint against MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli after the latter referred to the deputy as a “traitor” and demanded his expulsion from parliament for calling Turkey a “killer state.” Şık's lawyers said that Bahçeli's remarks cannot be considered within the freedom of speech as he made the deputy a target in the eyes of his supporters.

This collage photo shows MP Ahmet Şık (L) and MHP chair Devlet Bahçeli.

Duvar English

Workers' Party of Turkey (TİP) deputy Ahmet Şık, who is also a journalist, has filed a criminal complaint against Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) chair Devlet Bahçeli after being targeted by the far-right leader during a speech.

The petition submitted to the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office demanded that a criminal case is launched against Bahçeli as the MHP leader's “cannot be considered within the freedom of speech.”

“It is a fact that the suspect's [Bahçeli] similar statements resulted in attacks before and his remarks against the client [Şık] have a characteristic of provoking, mobilizing people who want to make an attempt on the client's life,” Şık's lawyers said in the petition.

The petition further said that Bahçeli had “twisted” Şık's remarks and attacked his personal rights. “The suspect has turned him [Şık] into a target,” the lawyers said.

On June 8, Bahçeli demanded the removal of Şık's deputyship and referred to him as "a traitor who breathes the same air with us in parliament” after the deputy called Turkey a “killer state.”

Bahçeli said that Şık would be in a grave and not in parliament if the state was in fact a killer one.

Arguing that Şık is "encouraged" by the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Bahçeli said: "This criminal who is encouraged by HDP members should know that if the Turkish state was a killer, you would be in a grave rather than parliament."

On June 6, Şık said that the Turkish state is “a killer,” prompting the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office to launch an investigation into him.

“I have been always referred to as the 'Man who called the state a killer.' Yes, the state is a killer. Those who get angry at me for saying this are now saying 'Oh, is this the case ?' as they watch [mafia leader] Sedat Peker's videos in which he tells the state is a killer or applaud him,' Şık said during an interview on June 6.