Turkish father, daughter file complaints against each other over insulting Erdoğan

A father and daughter in the Turkish capital of Ankara have filed criminal complaints against one another for insulting the country's president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Communist news site SoL reported on Monday.

The Ankara father, M.C., was first to file a complaint with a prosecutor’s office on Jan. 14, citing wording used by his daughter in an email exchange, it said.

His daughter, A.T.C., then countered the claim, accusing her father of insulting Erdoğan in a complaint she filed with a prosecutor’s office on Jan. 17, Sol said.

"My father and I were already on bad terms. What I wrote to him was said in a moment of anger. My father is opposed to the [ruling Justice and Development Party] AKP… He has, in the past, expressed his hatred for Erdoğan and said things that should not be uttered. He would frequently insult Erdoğan in family gatherings...." Sol quoted the daughter as saying in her complaint.

The prosecutor’s office has dismissed the complaint against the father, SoL said.

Turkish judicial authorities on Monday also demoted a judge after he acquitted a defendant charged with insulting the president, news website Diken reported.

Judge Aydın Başar ruled in 2016 that a Turkish man who posted a poem on Facebook criticising President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was not guilty of insulting the president.

Erdoğan's lawyers responded by filing a complaint to the Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSK), the judicial disciplinary body. The HSK reassigned Başar from the eastern Anatolian city of Erzurum to the northeastern town of Zonguldak, a move media said was a demotion to a second-tier position.

"Members of this profession are afraid to state their opinion even about their profession. They feel under pressure when deciding on a case in which politics meets justice," Diken quoted Başar as saying.

The crime of insulting the president carries a sentence of between one and four years. The number of prosecutions under the law has risen dramatically from 132 when Erdoğan became president in 2014, to more than 6,000 in 2017, according to Human Rights Watch.