Sener Levent owner and Editor-in Chief of ‘Afrika’ newspaper has filed a lawsuit against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, for instigating attacks on the newspaper on January 22, 2018, Afrika’s front page story reported on Saturday.
The front page led with the title “We have taken Tayyip Erdogan to court”, and showed images of the suits filed to the district court in the TRNC.
The newspaper’s front page also included pictures of protestors outside their offices on January 22, 2018, showing people making the symbol of the Turkish ultra-nationalist movement ‘Grey Wolves’ and the symbol of the ‘Rabia’, a gesture used to show support for the Muslim brotherhood. This is the first time a Turkish Cypriot media group is suing a Turkish politician, after a law suit was brought against the newspaper in Ankara, regarding Afrika’s front page news item published on 21 January with the title “Yet another invasion by Turkey”, in reference to the Turkish military operation in Afrin, Syria.
Turkish President Erdogan described the newspaper “lousy”, saying that the leading article was unethical. He called on “his brothers” in the north to take a stand, the newspaper said.
“They say that the Turkish army, after Cyprus, has conducted a new invasion. How unethical, how obscene is that,” Erdogan added.
The article says that after being prompted by Erdogan, on January 22, to “do what was necessary, fanatics” attacked the newspaper with rocks and crowbars, leaving the staff faced with a lynch mob.
“I am your accuser…you are the accused my sir…you are a defendant in Cyprus…You will be called to give answer! You are guilty! You have committed a big crime! You are the instigator! You instigated them to lynch us, to murder us! Do you see that ruthless, raging mob? Do you see the man holding the large rock in his hand,” was the lead of the article published by Sener Levent in Afrika on Saturday.
The newspaper goes on to say that the protestors are Erdogan’s “angry children” who he told to strike back. Levent said that the protestors would do whatever Erdogan tells them.
Regarding the suit against Levent in Ankara, the newspaper’s head said: “You filed a suit against me in Ankara…I accept it…Now it’s your turn to come to our courts…I would come to your courts…If a court existed.”
Levent added that the issue will not remain only with the council, and that the case will move forward “otherwise this island will not forgive us.”