Erdoğan engages in war of words with outspoken journalist-turned MP

News About Turkey - NAT
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday branded a former journalist and member of the socialist Workers’ Party of Turkey (TİP) as a terrorist and suggested that the legislative immunity of the parliamentarian might be abolished.

“This person himself is a terrorist,” Erdoğan said in response to questions from journalists. “He somehow had the opportunity to become a lawmaker,” he added about Ahmet Şık, who was elected in 2018 to the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party after several years of legal issues from his career as a journalist.

“His power is enough neither for shutting down the Justice and Development Party (AKP) or imprisoning us,” Erdoğan said in response to Şık’s recent comments that Turkey’s ruling party is a criminal organisation and will therefore be closed after power changes hands in Turkey in the upcoming elections.

“He should instead think about how he will save himself [from prosecution],” Turkey’s President said. “Criminal suits will follow once his immunity is lifted,” he continued.

Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2021 requested Ahmet Şık’s immunity to be lifted over his remarks supporting protests in a university in Istanbul.

AKP lawyers filed a lawsuit for 100,000 Turkish liras for non-pecuniary damage to the TİP MP this week for suggesting the ruling party members are not clean and have been involved in crimes.

Şık’s remarks came after allegations of bribery about an AKP lawmaker, her brother and former Capital Markets Board (SPK) chair and her husband, as well as some other top tier bureaucrats were made public by a famous mob-boss this week.

Şık, who received several international prizes including UNESCO’s prestigious Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was quick to respond to Erdoğan’s comments via Twitter.

“When your rule comes to an end, and the law returns to the country, members of the judiciary, who care about not their interest but the dignity of the law unlike those you have turned into puppets, will decide who is the terrorist and who is the gang leader. Then we’ll talk about it,” he said.

“Dear Ahmet Şık is a lawmaker of the people; in his life during which he has struggled against the old and new partners of this criminal regime, he has never given up his dream of a Turkey that is equal, free and in peace,” his party said in a statement titled “We will see beautiful days”.


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