Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan filed a lawsuit against the Greek newspaper on Wednesday. The lawsuit filed with the Ankara prosecutor’s office cites the front page of the conservative daily Democracy two years ago.
It requires up to five years’ imprisonment for four high-ranking officials of the newspaper “for insulting the president” and, therefore, Turkey.
Erdogan’s lawsuit targets the newspaper’s director, editor-in-chief who wrote the article, and two editors, the newspaper said in a statement.
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan persecutes the Democracy newspaper[Dimokratia] and wants to sentence four of its employees to imprisonment in Turkey, which can be up to five years, ”the newspaper said.
The reason for this lawsuit “is that on the front page of“ Democracy ”dated September 18, 2020 it was written:“ Siktir Git, Mr. Erdogan ”, and below, in the yellow rectangle of the President of Turkey, there was a well-known curse in English, which expressed indignation most Greeks by a series of offensive messages from both Erdogan himself and his ministers or advisers, during illegal marine surveys conducted by the Oruc Reis, “the newspaper said.Dimocracy ” …
The lawsuit was filed by one of Erdogan’s lawyers, Hussein Aydin. On the basis of this document, the Ankara prosecutor brought charges against four Greek journalists for “criminal insult to the president”, in accordance with Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code.
This is the first time that a foreign head of state has opposed a Greek newspaper, and for political reasons, as is clear from the legal text of the lawsuit filed with the Ankara prosecutor’s office. Most importantly, Mr. Erdogan, through Turkish justice, is trying, even in this way, to legitimize the unhistorical and unacceptable claims of the “blue homeland”, since he calls the Aegean Sea “the sea of islands” and speaks openly about rights and achievements in the maritime zones.
The official legal text presented to the Greek authorities is full of provocations, the newspaper emphasizes, since it refers to the “Aegean Sea” as “the sea of islands”, and the Turkish side accuses the journalists of the “Dimokratiya” Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Sea “.
“The Dimocracy refuses to participate in the relevant court proceedings over Erdogan’s claim and considers it an honor that the Turkish leadership characterizes our newspaper as an obstacle to his expansionist and dangerous plans,” the publication said in a statement.
What is said in Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code, convicted by the European Court:
Article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code, which persecutes Greek journalists, states: “Anyone who insults the President of the Republic is sentenced to imprisonment for a term of one to four years.” If the act is committed in public, the fine is increased by 1/6. The investigation of this crime requires the permission of the Minister of Justice.
According to the article, thousands of people in Turkey have been convicted, and journalists and thinkers who have criticized Erdogan in recent years have been killed. Dozens of organizations (including Reporters Without Borders) have called for its abolition, and Turkey is often called upon to apologize for persecuting dissidents using this article.