Turkey drops cases of insult against president in coup aftermath

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he is dropping all lawsuits against those charged with insulting him.

Speaking at an event in Ankara on Friday, commemorating those killed and wounded during the failed military coup on 15 July, Erdoğan said he was withdrawing all the lawsuits for insults against his person.

“For one time only, I will be forgiving and withdrawing all cases against the many disrespects and insults that have been levelled against me,” he said.

“I feel that if we do not make use of this opportunity correctly, then it will give the people the right to hold us by the throat. So I feel that all factions of society, politicians first and foremost, will behave accordingly with this new reality, this new sensitive situation before us.”

Hundreds of people have been charged with insulting the president, including on social media.

Erdoğan also lashed out at the west for failing to show solidarity with Ankara over a failed coup and said countries who worried more about the fate of the perpetrators than Turkey’s democracy could not be friends.