Ankara Public Prosecutor Cevat İşlek has filed a criminal complaint against Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen for seeking to bring a lawsuit against Akşam daily columnist Emin Pazarcı for insulting him.
Nurullah Albayrak, Gülen's legal counsel, recently filed a criminal complaint against Pazarcı on the grounds that Pazarcı insulted and defamed Gülen in one of his columns. The Bakırköy Prosecutor's Office considered the column to fall under freedom of expression. Albayrak filed an appeal to a court to overturn the prosecutor's decision, but the court rejected the appeal.
After the appeal was rejected, Pazarcı then filed a criminal complaint against Gülen on the grounds that Gülen defamed him through the legal complaint. While the Bakırköy Prosecutor's Office considered Pazarcı's column to be under freedom of expression, Prosecutor İşlek prepared a three-page indictment defending Pazarcı's claim. The prosecutor asked the court to punish Gülen.
After a corruption scandal erupted on Dec. 17, 2013, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused the Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement, of plotting against the government through the graft probe.
Erdoğan defined the members of the movement, which is inspired by the ideals of Gülen, of being a “parallel state” and launched a witch hunt against the movement after the probe.
Published on Today's Zaman, 13 April 2015, Monday