Erdoğan files criminal complaint against far-right Dutch politician Wilders

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a criminal complaint with Turkish authorities on Tuesday against Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders after he posted a series of tweets against the Turkish leader, including one that described him as a “terrorist”, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Wilders, known for his anti-Islam rhetoric, shared a cartoon of Erdoğan on Saturday, where the Turkish president was depicted donning a hat shaped as a bomb with the logo of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), captioning it with the word “terrorist”.

The leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom on Monday, posted an image of a sinking ship with a Turkish flag on it. “Bye bye @RTErdogan. Kick Turkey out of NATO,” he said under the image.

Erdoğan’s lawyers filed a lawsuit with prosecutors in Ankara on Tuesday, saying Turkish courts had jurisdiction on the matter because the insults were directed at Turkey’s president, Anadolu reported, citing the document filed by the lawyers.

“Even though the crime was committed directly against the person in the presidential seat, the value that is being violated is the state’s political government structure,” the lawyers said, according to Anadolu.

Ankara has long been critical of the views and policies on Islam and migration put forth by Wilders.

On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu called him a “loser racist” trying to gain support with animosity towards Islam and foreigners after Erdoğan questioned French President Emmanuel Macron's mental condition while criticising his attitude toward Islam and Muslims.

“It is time for Europe to stop its spoiled, fascist-minded politicians,” Çavuşoğlu said on Twitter.