Turkish opposition head faces probe after calling Erdogan "dictator"

The leader of the Turkish legislative opposition is the subject of a prosecutors' probe after he called President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a "hack dictator" during a party meeting over the weekend, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported Monday.

The Dogan news agency reported that Erdogan's lawyers were suing Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the centre-left People's Republican Party (CHP) for 100,000 lira (32,000 dollars) in the incident.

In Turkey, it is illegal to "insult" the president. In recent years, an increasing number of people have faced prosecution over remarks against Erdogan, who has been in power for 12 years, first as prime minister and now as president.

The CHP chief was speaking after Erdogan and leaders of the governing Islamic-conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) lashed out last week at more than 1,000 academics who signed a petition calling for peace with the Kurdish minority.

Some of the academics were briefly detained on Friday while others were facing disciplinary measures, with Erdogan accusing them of treason and alleging they supported terrorism.

Fighting has been raging for six months in the mostly Kurdish south-east of the country after a two-year ceasefire between the state and the armed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) collapsed.

The petition was sharply critical of the government, accusing it of carrying out a "massacre" in the south-east, where many hundreds have died in the renewed fighting.

Last update: Mon, 18/01/2016 - 15:48

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