Turkish CHP leader to compensate Erdogan over insult

Turkish court orders main opposition leader to pay 50,000 Turkish liras ($17,200) for insulting president

Turkish CHP leader to compensate Erdogan over insult

By Zafer Fatih Beyaz and Ismet Karakas


The leader of Turkey's main opposition party was Thursday ordered to pay President Recep Tayyip Erdogan compensation for calling him a "sham dictator".

An Ankara civil court ruled Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), should pay 50,000 Turkish liras ($17,200) compensation for insulting the president.

Kilicdaroglu made the remark at the party’s 35th ordinary general meeting on Jan. 16 and in a parliamentary group meeting on Jan. 19. His lawyer denied the allegation.

Erdogan’s lawyer argued that Kilicdaroglu's comment constituted "extraordinarily weighty insults" with the intention of attacking his client’s image.

According to the Turkish Penal Code's Article 299, it is a criminal offense to insult the president. The offense carries a jail sentence of between one and four years.

The CHP is the biggest opposition party in Turkey, with 133 seats in the 550-member Turkish parliament. Kilicdaroglu has led the party since May 2010.

* Ilker Girit contributed to this story from Istanbul.

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