Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced he will drop all court cases against those who were charged with insulting him.
Thousands of legal cases had been filed against those who had insulted the Turkish President on social media and other forums.
Erdogan annuls all court cases he has opened: "We should see this as a new beginning"
— Kenan Cerimagic (@kenancerimagic) July 29, 2016
According to the English language Daily Sabah: “There were about 2,000 cases, including cases of insults directed to Erdoğan on social media.”
"As a milestone, I hereby withdraw all the cases filed for insulting me and forgive all the offenders,” Erdogan told a Martyrs' Memorial Day ceremony at the presidential complex the other day in Ankara to commemorate victims of the failed coup.
"For one time only, I will be forgiving and withdrawing all cases against the many disrespects and insults that have been levelled against me," he said.
President Erdogan Friday's decision to drop cases against those who were charged with insuting the president was welcomed by Amberin Zaman, who is a freelance writer and a critical of the current government. In her tweet, she said, this is a positive and encouraging if true.
CB Erdogan hakaret davalarini geri cektigini aciklamis.Dogrusya cok olumlu ve yureklendirici
— Amberin Zaman (@amberinzaman) July 29, 2016
President Erdogan defended the government’s actions after the coup, "I feel that if we do not make use of this opportunity correctly, then it will give the people the right to hold us by the throat. So I feel that all factions of society, politicians first and foremost, will behave accordingly with this new reality, this new sensitive situation before us.”
Erdogan also said, "Even during the coup attempt process, we have not made the slightest compromise with the law. Every step we have taken, every decision we have made, every implementation we have launched, it has been under the constitution [and the country’s] laws."
He said the post-coup attempt measures being carried out in the country's institutions such as parliament, the National Security Council, council of ministers and others ministries are in line with the law.
"If deficiencies [and] mistakes stemmed from this extraordinary period occur, then a legal path is available," Erdogan said.
“We have an obligation to establish justice. What does everybody say? Death penalty, death penalty, death penalty. However, this is a democratic, constitutional state governed by a parliamentary system,” Erdogan said.
The president said the ruling government needs to listen to people’s demands for the death penalty and that the parliament will discuss the issue and everyone has to respect the final decision.
Low ranking officers freed from detention
Elsewhere, local media reported, that Turkish courts have has freed 750 out of 989 soldiers, all carrying the rank of private.
The rest of the privates in custody, 239 in total, who opened fire on civilians on the Bosphorus Bridge and in Çengelkoy remain in custody.
The arrested soldiers include privates, admirals and generals. After the release of 750 privates there are still 1539 soldiers in custody.