On May 10, the leader of the Social Democratic Party Mine Atlı posted on Facebook the presidential oath and commented underneath it, “This shows that Ersin Tatar is a dishonest and dishonourable man.”
My interpretation of Mine’s post was that President Ersin Tatar was failing to abide by the oath of honour he had sworn and that she, as the leader of an opposition party, was criticizing Ersin Tatar for not doing so.
Ersin Tatar, however, did not interpret the post as I did and felt insulted. He believed that Mine Atlı had called him dishonest and dishonourable.
Everything up to here is normal.
The president may believe he was insulted and could take the matter to court.
Many politicians who believed they were insulted resorted to such action.
These lawsuits were recorded both in our political history and the history of our press.
One such lawsuit was the one filed by the former Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu against cartoonist Hüseyin Çakmak.
Or the case filed by former President Rauf Denktaş against opposition leader Özker Özgür for his article “Babalar” (“Fathers”).
Both believed they had been insulted and had filed defamation lawsuits.
They had rushed to the prosecutor’s office, getting the state involved in their favour.
Ersin Tatar did not file a defamation case.
He instead filed a case that fell under an article in the ‘Seditious Publications’ law and filed a complaint to the police against the opposition leader.
A person who is found guilty of such a crime can serve up to a five-year prison sentence.
It’s even possible that a person’s freedom is restricted through the confiscation of his/her passport or ID.
Ersin Tatar chose this path.
Without losing any time, the police and prosecutor’s office brought Mine Atlı’s case before the court, demanding that her freedom be restricted and her passport and ID seized.
Thank God the judge overruled this request. The judge saw fit to release her on the condition she signed a bail bond.
As we all know the public’s agenda is currently occupied by the protocol signed with Turkey. ‘Seditious Publications’ is one of those laws mentioned in the protocol that instils fear in everyone.
There is now an attempt to amend and harshen this outdated law in the penal code on the grounds it is inadequate.
And Ersin Tatar is leading the way.
As in the example of Mine Atlı, he is demonstrating to us what he will do to all those who dare to criticize him.
But he must know that the Turkish Cypriot people and the press are determined to stand up to him.
These lands will not allow the emergence of a dictator who imitates his motherland. And those who attempt to do so will not remain in power for long.
Source: WHERE IS TATAR HEADING TO