‘Defaming Erdogan’: Criminal complaint filed against Putin in Turkey

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan © Ivan Sekretarev
One of the members of the notorious Turkish opposition movement has urged a criminal investigation against Russian President Putin for “insulting” and “defamation” of Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Furthermore, Mahir Akkar, a suspect in the Ergenekon ‘coup plot’ case, also wants Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anotoly Antonov to stand trial on grounds of “insulting the president.”

This is a democratic right but we cannot turn a blind eye to defamation against our president by other presidents or officials,” Akkar said in the letter of denunciation, the Daily Sabah reports.

The plea submitted to the Ankara Public Prosecutor's Office also added that Erdogan can only be criticized if “the boundaries of criticism are not exceeded.

He believes the Russian president and the Russian Defense Ministry overstepped that boundary when Putin mentioned the possibility of Turkish officials’ involvement in smuggling Islamic State oil into the country. That included Erdogan and his family. Putin’s accusations have been backed by extensive evidence produced by Russian military intelligence into the “industrial-scale” activity of Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) oil trade through Turkey.

Akkar demanded a criminal case against Putin and Antonov be initiated.

Prior to the evidence being put forward, Erdogan vowed he would resign if Moscow could prove their claims. Following the exposure, he vehemently denied the accusations adding it was “immoral” to involve his family in the affair. The Turkish leader further said he had evidence showing it is Russia who is actually involved in trading oil with IS.

Ergenekon is a secularist ultra-nationalist organization in Turkey with ties to members of the country’s military and security forces. Since 2008, they have suffered severe crackdowns by the government.

The so-called Ergenekon trials have involved 275 people: military officers, journalists and opposition lawmakers all accused of plotting against the Turkish government. Prosecutors described the group as "The Ergenekon terrorist organization."

By April 2011, over 500 people had been taken into custody. As of 2015, most of the people accused have been acquitted, while others have been handed lengthy prison terms.