Turkish opposition leader sues Erdogan for $50,000 over ‘fake video’

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President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s election rival has lodged a $50,000 lawsuit against the Turkish leader for airing a campaign video linking the opposition to Kurdish militants.

“We have filed a lawsuit in order to account for the fake video,” secular opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s lawyer Celal Celik said Thursday.


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Kilicdaroglu finished almost five points behind Erdogan in the first round on May 14.

But he still gave the opposition’s best performance of Erdogan’s two-decade era, setting up Turkey’s first presidential election runoff on Sunday.

Kilicdaroglu had previously filed a series of symbolic lawsuits against Erdogan.

But this one demands one million liras ($50,000) in compensation, which Kilicdaroglu pledges to donate to a fund overseeing the education of fallen Turkish soldiers’ children.

Erdogan has repeatedly aired a video at his rallies that tried to associate Kilicdaroglu with a military commander of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The PKK is listed as a terror organization by Turkey and its Western allies for waging a decades-long insurgency that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Erdogan’s video juxtaposes footage of Kilicdaroglu calling on Turks to back his candidacy with that of the PKK commander appearing to also support the opposition campaign.

Erdogan acknowledged this week that the video was a montage and not an actual campaign clip produced by the opposition, which he appeared to suggest at his rallies.

Kilicdaroglu’s lawyer accused Erdogan of breaking “ethical norms.”

“How can a person sitting in the president’s seat be dishonest?” Kilicdaroglu said.

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