22:18 GMT26 January 2020
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    The president of Turkey’s main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), accused President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of narcissism and of failure to comply with the country’s constitution on Tuesday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the CHP leader, commented on Erdogan’s refusal to recognize a constitutional court ruling last week that the arrest of opposition Cumhuriyet daily journalists Can Dundar and Erdem Gul violated their rights.

    "The president of the country must be a model for society as a subordinate to the judiciary and the law. But if he shows signs of narcissism, then he believes that he represents the law and does not comply with the law and the constitution," Kilicdaroglu told reporters.

    CHP deputy Akif Ekici accused Erdogan of "dragging the country into a disaster" earlier on Tuesday, suggesting psychiatric treatment. The remark nearly caused a scuffle between opposition and ruling party lawmakers, prompting the parliament speaker to adjourn the session.

    Dundar and Gul were arrested in November 2015 on Erdogan’s and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) accusations of espionage after publishing a report implicating MIT in sending weapons and ammunition into Syria's terrorist-held territory.

    The article and footage released by Cumhuriyet on May 29 claimed that the trucks were carrying containers with artillery shells, machine gun rounds, and mortar shells to Syrian rebels fighting against the government forces.

    The trial for Dundar and Gul is scheduled to begin on March 25. They each face aggravated life sentences, an additional life sentence, as well as 30 years in prison for revealing state secrets in the May 2015 report.

    Related:

    Two Detained Journalists in Turkey to Be Freed Before Scheduled Trial
    Ankara's Arrest of Opposition Reporters Violates Rights - Turkish Court
    Wife of Imprisoned Turkish Journalist: Husband Never Regretted His Words
    Tags:
    journalist crackdown, opposition journalists, Erdem Gul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Can Dundar, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Turkey
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