A Turkish prosecutor’s office has sought a prison sentence between three months and two years for former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, for his remarks “insulting” Bilal Erdoğan and the Turkish Youth and Education Service Foundation (TÜRGEV) he chaired with other family members, according to reporting by Anadolu Agency (AA).
Bilal Erdoğan is Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son.
Kılıçdaroğlu questioned the function and funding of the foundation during the rally and claimed it received preferential treatment due to its governmental connections. He accused Bilal Erdoğan of “influence peddling,” which was a crime in the Turkish penal code.
The Anatolia Republic Prosecutor’s Office prepared the indictment against Kılıçdaroğlu, and the court accepted it. The indictment also noted that the parties refused to settle out of court. Kılıçdaroğlu no longer has legislative immunity as he ran for president in the 2023 general elections, and was not a lawmaker candidate.
Bilal Erdoğan had filed another criminal complaint against the former CHP leader in 2016, regarding his 2014 remarks about TÜRGEV in a rally in Istanbul, days before the presidential elections.
The then-party leader accused the foundation of infiltrating the Education Ministry and procuring tenders through bribes. “The Education Ministry is under the rule of a foundation, it has turned into the foundation’s bribery center. Those who win tenders from the state pay bribes to TÜRGEV. The foundation then uses the money to influence education policies," Kılıçdaroğlu stated
He continued, “The Education Minister is a sham post, it is occupied by Bilal Erdoğan. He shaped all education policies.” Bilal Erdoğan’s attorneys filed a criminal complaint against the party leader in 2016 for “insulting him through press channels.”