Following Erdoğan’s Example, Socialist Party Creates “Slander Workgroup”

Prime Minister Edi Rama has created a group of experts within the Socialist Party, who will be responsible for following all cases of possible “slander” on the part of the opposition and journalists against Socialist MPs. To this end, during the last meeting of the parliamentary group, Rama advised MPs to keep records of, and sue for slander at the Prosecution Office, any Democrat MP that defames them, as Taulant Balla has done.

Not for the first time, it seems that Rama has been inspired by his friend, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has an entire team of lawyers responsible for recording and suing what few opposing politicians and journalist have managed to escape jail under his dictatorial regime.

The latest infamous case is the conflict between Erdoğan and the head of opposition party CHP, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu.

Erdoğan’s team of experts has sued Kılıçdaroğlu 29 times for insulting the president. 12 of the cases have been tried by the Turkish court, that convicted and ordered the opposition leader to pay a fine of 870.000 Turkish lira, or $155.000.

In one June trial, the Istanbul court fined Kılıçdaroğlu $25.000 after the latter accused Erdoğan and his relatives of having bank accounts in Isle of Man, a self-governing British Crown dependency in the Irish Sea.

In order to pay these fines, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu sold his summer house in one of Turkey’s coastal cities.

In Turkey, insults and slander against the president are illegal, and, so far, Erdoğan’s lawyers have filed 1800 lawsuits against opposition members, journalists, and anyone who has publicly denounced his dictatorship. Keeping in mind the full control Erdoğan exercises upon the Turkish courts, it isn’t hard to imagine what the fate of these lawsuits will be.