The Ankara chief public prosecutor’s reasons for dismissing a complaint by Selahattin Demirtaş show a recognition that insults are part of the interior minister’s duties, the jailed Kurdish politician said in a series of tweets via his lawyers.
Demirtaş had pressed charges against Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu over the minister’s tweets calling him “a murderer”, “vile” and “lowly” in September, in relation to a bomb attack in the southern Mersin province.
“This is a judicial ruling that recognises that Soylu is the minister of criminal affairs,” Demirtaş said.
“The complaint alleged that Republic of Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu committed the crime of insulting a person, however, [the prosecution has found that] the claim stemmed from actions related to the minister’s duties as minister,” the prosecutor’s office said in the dismissal order.
“Look at that disgrace of law,” Demirtaş said. “Saying lowly, disgusting murderer is among Soylu’s duties. … They did not even process the complaint.”
The former co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Turkey’s third largest political party after the government and main opposition, also referenced Istanbul’s popular mayor Ekrem İmamoğlu, who was elected from the main opposition party in a landslide victory in 2019 with the help of the Kurdish vote and Demirtaş himself campaigning in his favour.
Demirtaş condemned a prison sentence of 2 years 7 months and 15 days İmamoğlu was given over his comments on the country’s election officials in his tweets, comparing the prison sentence over the word “fool” to Soylu’s “murderer” and “vile” comments.
“Those who annulled the elections on March 31 are fools, regarding how we are viewed in Europe,” İmamoğlu said. The mayor was not the first to use the word, as Soylu himself had called him “the fool who complained about Turkey at the European Parliament” in November 2019.