Lawyers for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have filed a criminal complaint against French magazine Le Point journalists for allegedly insulting him, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency.
The lawyers filed the complaint against the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Etienne Gernelle and journalist Romain Gubert in a Turkish court.
In its cover page headline, Le Point called Erdoğan “The Eradicator” in a reference to Turkey’s military offensive against Syrian Kurdish fighters in northeastern Syria. The front page also read, “Ethnic cleansing, Erdoğan’s method.”
On Oct. 9, Ankara launched Operation Peace Spring to secure its border from the Kurdish militia and create a safe zone to relocate Syrian refugees living in Turkey.
Insulting the president is a crime in Turkey. Erdoğan has filed thousands of complaints against journalists, politicians, students and others for comments deemed to be insults.
In 2016, Erdoğan sued a German comedian over a satirical poem, leading to diplomatic tensions with Germany and debate on freedom of speech.