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Newspaper and journalist fined for "attack on the Prime Minister's personal rights"

(BIANET/IFEX) - 11 April 2011 - Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has successfully sued the nation-wide "Cumhuriyet" newspaper and one of its writers, Bekir Coskun, for the sum of TL 5,000 (approx. € 2,275) in compensation after they were found guilty of an "attack on the Prime Minister's personal rights".

The initial petition included a TL 10,000 (approx. € 4,550) compensation claim and was based on Coskun's article entitled "Why can't you destroy the republic?" published in the "Cumhuriyet Ankara" supplement, dated 29 October 2010. The petition had argued that the article "included expressions that violated honour and dignity and insulting and invective statements with the intention of attacking Erdogan's personal rights".

The case was handled by the Ankara 12th Criminal Court of First Instance. According to "Sabah" newspaper, Judge Mustafa Cakmak partly accepted the compensation claim and ruled for a monetary fine of TL 5,000 in compensation, including interest since the date of publication.

In his article, Coskun touched upon the profit of the republican regime and its indestructibility. "He sat on the chair of the Republic, the one who turns up his nose at the Republic with his almond moustache (. . .) He would herd cows if there was no Republic, the Republic made him a man (. . .)".

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