CHP reveals 400 people awaiting investigation over insulting president

Giving details of a recent workshop organized by the Ankara Bar Association titled “Unconstitutionality of charging people with insulting the president and suggestions for solution,” Tanrıkulu said more than 1,500 people had been sued by Erdogan on libel charges and 400 more investigations are awaiting approval from the Justice Ministry.

Directing his questions to the Justice Ministry, Tanrıkulu queried the number of demands to investigate people over libel charges against President Erdogan as of Dec.7. “How many of these demands are rejected and how many of them are approved?” Tanrıkulu also asked.

Tanrıkulu also asked about the number of investigation applications to the Justice Ministry for insulting presidents from 2002 to 2015 covering the terms of former presidents Abdullah Gul and Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

Underlining that there are people who express their views about the president via the Internet, Tanrıkulu questioned the number of people facing investigations because of their views on social media. He also asked about the number of people facing trials in court on charges of insulting the president.

Tanrıkulu noted that cases in court against people charged with “insulting the president” constitute a large workload for the judiciary and asked whether the ministry has any plans to lighten this workload.

Tanrıkulu also underlined that a large portion of society believes charges against people over “insulting the president” is a method of intimidating political opponents.

At a press conference on Saturday, Tanrıkulu said according to a recent human rights report, hundreds of people have been charged and others detained after being accused of insulting Erdogan since he was elected president in August 2014. In the past 10 months, 98 people have been taken into custody on charges of insulting the president, Tanrıkulu said.