STOCKHOLM (Stockholm Center for Freedom) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s lawyer has filed a criminal complaint against journalist Ragıp Zarakolu for a column he wrote, accusing him of “instigating a military coup d’état,” Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on May 6.
Zarakolu’s column, titled “No Escape from Ill Fortune,” was published in the Evrensel newspaper and on the Arti Gerçek news website on May 5, drawing comparisons between Erdogan and former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, who was hanged by a military junta after a takeover in 1960.
In his petition to the prosecutor, Erdoğan claimed that Zarakolu openly threatened him with a military putsch and execution, requesting that authorities investigate and charge him with crimes against the constitutional order and the president.
In addition to Zarakolu, Erdoğan’s petition also requested investigations into the executives of the Evrensel newspaper and the Arti Gerçek news website.
Erdoğan’s communications director Fahrettin Altun has also filed a criminal complaint against Zarakolu over the same article.
Zarakolu made a statement in response to the accusations, claiming that his column has a content that goes against military coups and that he spent his life opposing them. “It is simply inexplicable that the article is misinterpreted to such an extent. It is understood that the Presidential spokespersons did not read the article adequately,” Zarakolu wrote.