President Recep Tayyip Erdogan filed a criminal lawsuit with the Turkish judiciary against the leader of the far-right Dutch Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, after he published pamphlets that offended him.
The complaint was submitted to the Public Prosecutor's Office in the capital, Ankara, Hossein Aydin, the lawyer of the Turkish President, against Wilders.
The complaint petition is based on Article 104 of the Turkish Constitution, which prohibits any abuse of the position of the President of the Turkish Republic.
"The expressions used by the suspect Wilders, against the president of our republic, are insulting and disrespectful, and are a clear crime for publicly posting them on social media. We therefore demand the opening of a lawsuit against the suspect," the complaint said.
The lawyer said that the attack affects the political structure of the state's government, considering that Wilders' comments cannot be viewed as freedom of expression.
In turn, the Dutch government criticized this move by the Turkish president, and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a video broadcast on Dutch public television, “I have a very simple message to President Erdogan: In the Netherlands we consider freedom of expression the greatest good, and this includes cartoons, including those that represent politicians. ".
Rutte considered that a complaint against a Dutch political figure may lead to restricting freedom of expression, which is "unacceptable," adding that his government will transmit its viewpoint to the Turkish authorities.
The Dutch prime minister was one of the first European leaders to support French President Emmanuel Macron when Erdogan attacked him, against the backdrop of the offense case of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace.
On Saturday, Wilders published a caricature showing the Turkish president wearing a turban in the form of a bomb, with the words "terrorist" written under it.
On Monday, he also published a picture of a ship sinking while raising the Turkish flag, and wrote underneath it: "Goodbye Erdogan. Expel Turkey from NATO."
Erdogan had previously spoken - without explicitly mentioning Wilders' name - of a "distorted Dutch image of a parliamentarian," and he warned, "Know your limits."
On Sunday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu described Wilders as a "losing racist" trying to win support with hostility to Islam and foreigners, adding in a tweet on Twitter, "It is time for Europe to stop its corrupt fascist politicians."
Wilders is one of the most prominent far-right politicians in Europe, and he has previously caught the attention of the media by asking him to remove pages from the Holy Quran, and he has also sparked controversy over immigration in the Netherlands over the past decade, although he has not participated in the government.
Relations between the Netherlands and Turkey have been strained since the Hague deported in 2017 two Turkish ministers who came to support President Erdogan in Rotterdam, where riots broke out.