President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s harsh rhetoric against his opponents is widely known at home and abroad. Yet a dramatic incident at the Turkish parliament last week provided insight into the fates of those who dare use the same rhetoric against him.
On March 4, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) criticized Erdogan by using the same words the president used to insult the CHP leader, setting off a brawl at the Turkish parliament. A lawmaker from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) punched CHP lawmaker Engin Ozkoc numerous times. A prosecutor then launched a probe against Ozkoc on charges of “insulting the president.”