Erdoğan files lawsuit against opposition leader over Gara remarks

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan filed a lawsuit on Thursday against main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for comments following a failed military operation that left 13 Turkish citizens dead, Cumhuriyet newspaper said.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kılıçdaroğlu said Erdoğan was responsible for the deaths of the Turkish citizens at the hands of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) during last week’s attempted rescue operation in the Gara region, northern Iraq.

In his response to Kılıçdaroğlu’s remarks, Erdoğan said: "You shameless, man, I send (you) my defence minister, my interior minister so they can inform you. But you are not worthy of this, you are shameless enough to hold me responsible.’’

Kılıçdaroğlu's comments were an effort to exonerate the PKK from the killings, relieve the political pressure on the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) and damage the honour and dignity of the president, the newspaper cited the lawsuit filed by Erdoğan’s lawyer as saying.

Kılıçdaroğlu’s lawyer Celal Çelik responded to the lawsuit via his Twitter account.

“Fortunately, we will have the opportunity to prove their incompetence and moreover the responsibility for the martyrs through this lawsuit they filed,” he said.

Meanwhile Çelik on Wednesday announced he would file a lawsuit against Erdoğan’s remarks calling Kılıçdaroğlu a “shameless man.”

Erdoğan is reported to be seeking 500,000 TL ($72,000) in damages. Çelik said Kılıçdaroğlu would be asking for compensation worth around five cents.