Turkish President Sues Dutch Lawmaker Over A Bunch Of 'Insulting' Tweets

from the who-is-the-real-terrorist-here,-Recep dept

If anyone's to blame for this latest Erdogan related debacle, it's the thin-skinned "leader" of Turkey, R.T. "Gollum" Erdogan. In fact, I'd be hard pressed to find anyone else to blame if the Dutch government hadn't been an enabler of this bad behavior.

Back in 2018, the Dutch government, inexplicably, decided to prosecute one of its own citizens for "insulting" a world leader located in an entirely different country. For whatever reason, the Dutch government has yet to wipe its "insulting a foreign leader" law from its books and that's the weapon Erdogan wielded to engage in extraterritorial protection of his easily bruised skin.

A law may be on the books, but there's nothing compelling a country to enforce it, especially when the request comes from the Turkish consulate on behalf of an insulted foreign leader who, as the word "foreign" specifies, resides in another country altogether.

Having set this stupid precedent, the Dutch government has to take some of the blame for recent developments, which involve President Erdogan targeting a member of the Dutch government over some online besmirchment.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is suing Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders after the anti-Islam politician posted a series of tweets against the Turkish leader, including one that described him as a “terrorist.”

The state-run Anadolu Agency said Erdogan’s lawyer on Tuesday filed a criminal complaint against Wilders at the Ankara Chief Prosecutor’s office for “insulting the president” — a crime in Turkey punishable by up to four years in prison.

Wilders posted a cartoon depicting Erdogan wearing a bomb-resembling hat on his head, with the comment: “terrorist.”

Fortunately, at least one person is handling this latest Turkish broadside against free speech with all the respect it deserves.

Wilders, who leads the largest opposition party in the Dutch Parliament, shrugged off the Turkish criminal complaint and described Erdogan as a “loser.”

This is not to say Wilders is an upstanding individual without troubling views on foreigners and religions other than his own. But the insulted leader of a foreign country shouldn't be able to do anything more than complain about it like normal people complain about things: to anyone willing to listen to someone complain about stuff. Involving courts and foreign governments shouldn't be part of the equation. There's no defamation here and nothing credibly, legally actionable. It's just Erdogan being insulted, which is something that happens regularly.

If the Dutch government doesn't meet this with a strong "why don't you just go fuck yourself" statement, it will only encourage Erdogan to engage in more extraterritorial litigation over speech he doesn't like. That's something no one needs, especially now that Turkey has passed China in the number of journalists jailed and has prosecuted more than 29,000 people in the last half-decade for "insulting" the eminently insultable president.

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Filed Under: criminal complaint, geert wilders, insults, lawsuits, netherlands, recep tayyip erdogan, turkey


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  • icon
    Bloof (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 6:43am

    Erdogan vs Geert Wilders... Can't they both lose?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Samuel Abram (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:26am

      Re:

      I think the principle matters more than who's doing what, so…

      *shudders*

      Geert Wilders is in the right.

      *breathes sigh of relief*

      Goddammit, I hate giving the devil his due!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 1:11am

        Re: Re:

        "Goddammit, I hate giving the devil his due!"

        It's that old line about a broken clock being right twice a day. Geert Wilders calling Erdogan a terrorist is about as reasonable as when a KKK member describes Idi Amin as a murderer. Factually correct, but you'd have to question the motive as to why the bad people they single out all happen to be members of the ethnicity or creed they despise.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Sharur, 3 Nov 2020 @ 7:26pm

        Remember, if Hitler invades Hell, we should at least give the Devil a favorable mention in the British House of Commons (I claim a historical exception to Poe's Law for this one).

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        eveninggarment (profile), 11 Nov 2020 @ 10:16pm

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2020 @ 6:48am

    No legislator immunity similar to what we have? Anyone know?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Narcissus (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      Not sure what you have but there is no immunity for legislators in The Netherlands. Wilders was/is (not sure where the appeal is) actually on trial for some statements he made during a campaign rally which were deemed racist.

      The prime minister already made it quite clear that this will not go far. He didn't exactly use the word "Go fuck yourself" but it was close. Also, to my best knowledge, the law that was referred to in the article was actually abolished as of this year, so I don't think Gollum has a case.

      So, what will happen is that Erdogan gives Wilders a fantastic international platform to spread his ideology. Wilders will simply be able to point at Erdogan and yell that he's being suppressed and that it's evidence of Muslim retarded ideology/religion. I predict an additional 5 seats in the polls for dear Geert.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:16am

    Erdogan must have the world's smallest penis and, as a comorbidity, the world's most fragile ego. How has such an enormous snowflake managed to come to power anywhere outside his own bathroom?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      xyzzy (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:30am

      I could have sworn you were talking about the USA there...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        TFG, 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:34am

        In the competition of "most fragile ego of world leader" - there are no winners. We all lose.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 1:18am

          Re:

          "there are no winners. We all lose."

          Well, no. The snowflakes surely win this one.

          What keeps bugging me to no end is that said sad little snowflakes of avarice and brittle ego wouldn't get to where they are if it weren't for a recurring mechanism I for one am growing tired of seeing;

          A sad little snowflake comes along and promises other sad little snowflakes he'll make them feel important. The gang of sad snowflakes then all go out and pitch in to get the First Snowflake Of The Realm a nice office and lots of power.

          All the sane people, meanwhile either have better things to do or mistakenly assume it's none of their business what the snowflakes do. These people all wake up to slowly realize the riots in their streets, the house being on fire, and their grandparents dying of the plague can't, in a democracy, be blamed on snowflakes being idiots and assholes, but on they themselves not immediately getting up and drawing a line in sand the very second the gang of snowflakes started mobilizing.

          People like Erdogan and Trump exist because the sane majority was too lazy and indulgent to stop the gang of snowflakes from gathering power, hard, right from the get-go.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:42am

    If anyone's to blame for this latest Erdogan related debacle, it's the thin-skinned "leader" of Turkey, R.T. "Gollum" Erdogan.

    Is he still ignoring you, Tim? What's a guy gotta do to get a nice Erdogan lawsuit to hang on his wall?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    davetechdirt02 (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 7:55am

    Erdoğan and not Erdogan.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      mcinsand, 2 Nov 2020 @ 8:40am

      spelling

      Thank you. How do you pronounce the marked 'g'?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2020 @ 10:08am

        Re: spelling

        You can look at the soft g as unpronounced whatsoever, a syllable/vowel transition, or sort of equivalent to an english w depending on context. Cooperation. Co-operation. Coöperation. Coğoperation. Co-wopperation. (Have it your way.)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2020 @ 8:44am

    Those two deserve each other...

    I'd love to see some kind of long, drawn-out libel case at great expense to both of them, with no real resolution. At least once the whole mess of a system can benefit regular people, right? Right?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      TFG, 2 Nov 2020 @ 9:07am

      Re: Those two deserve each other...

      Given they're both in government, it's far too likely that any such undertaking would involve expenditure of taxpayer money.

      The regular people therefore still lose out.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 9:33am

    If the jackboot fits...

    Let's see, regularly engages in oppression, violence and threats to cow people into acting a certain way, gleefully punishes people for saying things he doesn't want them to... how exactly is ugly Gollum not a terrorist again?

    Hey Ugly Gollum, if you don't like being called a terrorist stop acting like one.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 1:22am

      Re: If the jackboot fits...

      Gollum would be happy to point out that he's NOT strangling the hobbitses. He's just using internationally approved copyright law to take their voices away.

      And yeah, he actually did that, at the time when he wasn't legally empowered to have the "hobbitses" hauled off to some murky dungeon.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 12:02pm

    Just for fun.

    Who thinks we have infected the world leaders with abit of Syphilis. And as they age, it takes over their minds.

    NOW that would be an interesting conspiracy.

    Its interesting that so many countries TRY to be independent, and have to fight it, to be independent. Not allowing other countries to take advantage, and slowly take control over them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Flakbait (profile), 2 Nov 2020 @ 1:20pm

    Dermoplasty

    Maybe we could start a Go Fund Me to get all the thin-skinned world "leaders" an extra layer of skin (or three) transplanted.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Nov 2020 @ 2:21pm

    The law may still be on the books, but it has been effectively dead since 1967. In that year, anti-Vietnam protesters were shouting "Johnson moordenaar" (roughly translated as "LBJ is a killer"). When judges ruled that that was not permitted, the protesters changed it to "Johnson molenaar" ("LBJ is a miller").

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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