UPDATE 2- Istanbul lawmaker accused of insulting Turkey


By Baris Kilic and Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu

Ankara (AA) – Turkish prosecutors on Friday launched an investigation into a lawmaker from the opposition Saadet (Felicity) Party accused of insulting the Turkish nation and praising crimes and criminals.

The investigation was launched into Istanbul lawmaker Nazir Cihangir Islam, who is accused of making posts on Twitter insulting the Turkish nation, the Turkish Republic, and state institutions while praising crimes and criminals, said a statement by the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in the capital Ankara.

Islam's Twitter posts concerned the July 2016 defeated coup by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), claiming it was a “clash between two superstitious” parties.

On Friday, other lawmakers lambasted Islam’s remarks, including Yavuz Agiralioglu, the group deputy chairman of the opposition Good (IYI) Party, who called them “unfortunate.”

"Nobody can downplay the will against the coup attempt on July 15," Agiralioglu told Anadolu Agency, adding that doing so is an “insult to the nation.”

Separately, Erkan Akcay, the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy group chairman, also criticized Islam, telling Anadolu Agency: “Equating the traitorous coup attempt by FETO and the stance against it amounts to serving FETO.”

Naci Bostanci, the ruling AK Party's parliamentary group chairman, said that Islam spoke the language of terrorists.

"He was parallel to the reasoning of the [Daesh] terror organization," said Bostanci.

"This is the language of fanaticism," he added.

The leader of the Grand Unity Party (BBP) leader said that Islam's remarks were "treasonous if they were not negligent."

"This was an example of ugly opposition," said Mustafa Destici.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.