Tanju Özcan, the mayor of Turkey's northwestern province of Bolu, has said that he has filed criminal complaints against 2,000 social media users, Demirören News Agency reported on Dec. 27.
The mayor, who is known for introducing a series of xenophobic measures in the province, claimed that the 2,000 people in question insulted him.
"I wanted my lawyer to sue the insults that target my dignity," Özcan, who is from the Republican People's Party (CHP), said.
Özcan has been stirring controversy with the measures he has been introducing to keep foreigners out of Bolu. According to the most recent measures, not only will foreigners have to pay 100,000 Turkish Lira if they want to get married in the city, but they will have to pay their water bills in dollars.
He has openly said that Afghans are “one hundred years behind Turkey.” Last month, he introduced the marriage fee proposal to, he said, stop immigrants from marrying and having families in his city. The CHP has previously said that Özcan's views concern himself.
Özcan on Dec. 27 said that he didn't want his lawyer to sue social media users who criticized him.
"We've been receiving a lot of criticism. I didn't sue them," he said, claiming that trolls are targeting him on social media and not actual Bolu residents.
Özcan also said that he has been receiving calls from said social media users for him to withdraw his criminal complaint.