Turkey’s Erdoğan files criminal complaint against French magazine Le Point

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has filed a criminal complaint against French magazine Le Point, which he says insulted him, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Friday.

The magazine ran a front page headline calling Erdoğan “the eradicator”, referring to a military operation the Turkish president launched against Kurdish-led groups in northeast Syria this month. The subheading read “ethnic cleansing, Erdoğan’s method”.

Erdoğan filed his criminal complaint against editor-in-chief Etienne Gernelle and journalist Romain Gubert at a Turkish court, Anadolu said.

Ankara denies targeting Kurds in its military operation, saying instead it aimed to drive away militias with links to Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.

But Erdoğan has also said the operation aims to resettle 1 million or more mainly Syrian Arab refugees in areas captured from the Kurdish-led groups, and the Turkish president added weight to fears that the operation could lead to demographic re-engineering on Thursday when he said northeast Syria was unsuitable for Kurds to live in.

“The most suitable (people) for these areas are Arabs,” Erdoğan told state broadcaster TRT while speaking in front of a map showing areas in northeast Syria under Turkish control.

“These are not suitable areas for the lifestyle of Kurds,” Erdoğan said. “They’re virtually desert areas.”