Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a lawsuit against Greek daily newspaper Dimokratia at a prosecutor’s office in Ankara, the newspaper concerned reported on Wednesday.
The lawsuit specifically names the newspaper’s director, two chief editors and a journalist, Dimokratia noted in an announcement.
“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is prosecuting the Dimokratia newspaper and wants to sentence four of its staff to imprisonment of up to five years in Turkey. This is the first time that a foreign head of state has turned against a Greek newspaper, and for political reasons, as is clear from the text of the lawsuit sent by the Ankara prosecutor’s office,” the right-leaning newspaper said.
The newspaper said that the reason for Erdogan’s lawsuit was “Dimokratia’s September 18, 2020 front-page headline stating ‘Siktir Git,’ which expressed the indignation of the majority of Greeks for a series of insulting reports both by Erdogan himself and by his ministers or advisers, during the period of illegal sea surveys carried out by the Oruc Reis vessel.”
“Siktir Git” is an expletive that can be translated as “f*** off.” The front page also translated the insult into English using an asterisk.
“Most importantly,” Dimokratia continued, “the official legal text submitted to Greek authorities is full of provocations. The Aegean Sea is referred to as the ‘sea of islands’, and the Turkish side accuses the paper’s journalists of creating obstacles to Mr. Erdogan’s aspirations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean.”
“Dimokratia refuses to participate in the relevant legal proceedings based on Erdogan’s parody lawsuit, and considers it an honor that the Turkish leadership characterizes our newspaper as an obstacle to its expansionist and dangerous plans,” Dimokratia concluded.
After its publication, the Greek government condemned the headline, saying “offensive language is contrary to our values.”
Soon after the headline appeared, it was reported that Erdogan had filed a criminal complaint against the editors and one journalist of the newspaper. [AMNA, Ekathimerini]