ANKARA, Turkey – Turkey’s state-run news agency says lawyers for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have filed a criminal complaint against French magazine Le Point journalists for allegedly insulting him.
Anadolu Agency said Friday the criminal complaint was filed against editor-in-chief Etienne Gernelle and journalist Romain Gubert at a Turkish court.
In its cover page headline, Le Point called Erdogan “The Eradicator” in relation to Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria. The front page also read: “ethnic cleansing, Erdogan’s method.”
Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey. Erdogan has filed thousands of complaints against journalists, politicians, students and others for comments deemed to be insults.
In 2016, Erdogan sued a German comedian over a satirical poem, leading to diplomatic tensions with Germany and debate on freedom of speech.