Legislator sued for calling Turkey leader ‘fascist dictator’

October 31, 2017

Backdropped by a poster of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, waves to supporters prior to delivering a speech in Konya, central Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017. (Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish state television says a lawyer for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a criminal complaint against an opposition legislator for calling Turkey’s leader a “fascist dictator.”

Lawmaker Bulent Tezcan, who is the spokesman for the main opposition party, made the comments in a town in northwest Turkey on Monday, to support a local mayor who was questioned by authorities for reportedly calling Erdogan a “dictator.”

TRT television says Erdogan’s lawyer filed a complaint on Tuesday, accusing Tezcan of insulting the president — a crime that is punishable by up to four years in prison.

Erdogan has filed similar complaints against close to 2,000 people before withdrawing them after last year’s failed coup as a goodwill gesture.

Critics say Turkey has taken an authoritarian turn under Erdogan.

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