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President Erdoğan Opens Lawsuit Against French Academic

President Erdoğan has opened legal proceedings against a French political scientist who mentioned the possibility that Turkey’s President could be assassinated during a televised discussion.

According to the BBC, the President’s lawyer Hüseyin Aydın has filed a case against Philippe Moreau Defarges based on article 310 of the Turkish Criminal Code, “Assassination of and Physical Attack towards the president”.

The filing reportedly calls for the Defarge’s mental health to be evaluated in the event that he goes to Turkey. If he is deemed mentally fit, Aydın requests an investigation into “his relations to terror organizations including the PKK and FETO, and into to whom he gave assassination instructions.”

In a discussion on French broadcaster BFM, Defarges said: “either civil war, or a hypothesis which it is difficult to say, Erdoğan being assassinated. We should not forget assassination in such a climate.”

Defarges later apologized for his comments.

The case comes as relations between Turkey and European countries remain strained following the controversial referendum campaign that granted increased executive powers to President Erdoğan.

On Monday, Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalın told reporters that Turkey had received only € 790m of the € 3b pledged for stopping the flow of refugees crossing into Europe, and called on the EU to fulfill its obligations.

By Michael Hornsby, Berlin

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