In Turkey, the leader of the main opposition party Kemal Kiliçdaroglu and possible rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the next elections scheduled for June 2023 became, Thursday, November 3, the first person to be investigated for “spreading fake news”. This accusation is the flagship article of a law adopted in mid-October, against which the opposition had tried to block.
On October 18, the law had barely entered into force, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) filed an appeal before the Constitutional Council to demand the repeal of a law punishing “disinformation” by three years in prison. Two weeks later, the head of the CHP, Kemal Kiliçdaroglu, becomes the first Turkish citizen to risk a conviction on the basis of this text described as a “censorship law” by the entire opposition.
Kemal Kiliçdaroglu is the subject of a complaint by the General Directorate of Security, in other words the Turkish police, because of a statement in which he denounced the growing consumption of methamphetamine in Turkey. In a video on Twitter, the opposition leader criticized the government for turning a blind eye to drug trafficking to facilitate the entry of foreign currency into the country, whose foreign exchange reserves have plummeted in recent months.
“Damage to his reputation”
In its complaint, the Security Directorate accuses Kemal Kiliçdaroglu of having “damaged his reputation” by implying that the police “work with certain criminal organizations”. The CHP, for its part, believes that the legal proceedings against its leader prove that the new law “will be applied to limit the freedom of expression” of opponents.