The president accuses opposition MPs of "insulting" the military
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized CHP (Republican People's Party) Diyarbakr MP Sezgin Tanrikulu, who is under investigation for recent controversial statements about the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) made on a TV program.
In a sharp rebuke, Erdogan said, "This so-called member of parliament is terrorist scum who insults my soldiers. As the state and judiciary, we must give him the necessary lesson." This is not the first time Erdogan has attacked Tanrikulu. Previously, Erdogan warned, "This person will be punished by law for speaking against the most honorable and brave army in the world. This dishonorable insult and slander against our esteemed Turkish Armed Forces will not go unpunished."
On the TV, Tanrikulu criticized past TSK actions, referencing military coups and human rights abuses, saying, "We take a critical approach. We ask questions to remove such shadows from the TSK."
After his remarks, TV100 labeled its coverage of Tanrikulu's statements as "Tanrikulu's Slanders Against the Turkish Armed Forces."
Tanrikulu responded on social media that he would take legal action against those criticizing him beyond "heavy criticism."
The Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office subsequently investigated Tanrikulu's comments. CHP spokesperson Faik Oztrak distanced the party from Tanrikulu's views, calling the TSK the "apple of our nation's eye." CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu echoed this claim.
In response to the investigation, Tanrikulu asserted the ruling AKP was becoming the "new owner of the deep state."
The Diyarbakir Bar Association supported Tanrikulu, condemning the attacks and urging responsible action. Green Left Party MP Sirri Sureyya Onder supported Tanrikulu's human rights commitment.
Justice Minister stated it was unacceptable to question the TSK, noting that the investigation was now parliamentary.
In his speech, Tanrikulu referenced alleged historical TSK human rights violations, including 1990s disappearances and airstrikes that led to a 2013 European Court of Human Rights ruling against Turkey.