Zekeriya Öz, a prosecutor allegedly affiliated with the Gülen Movement, which has been accused of orchestrating the Dec. 17 and Dec. 25 operations in an apparent attempt to oust the elected government, has submitted a written statement to the court after he was charged with insulting and threatening President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when he was prime minister, in tweets he posted on his Twitter account. In his statement, Öz refuted the accusation that his target was Erdoğan in his tweets.
Öz, who has been suspended from duty at the Bolu Public Prosecutor's Office, had a lawsuit filed against him for insulting and intimidating Erdoğan while he was prime minister. He posted the tweets in question after the operations that targeted high-level state officials took place. He has been alleged to have links with the Gülen Movement, which is accused of infiltrating key state institutions such as the police and judiciary. He gave permission to launch the operation investigations to Prosecutor Celal Kara. After his alleged connection became public, he was removed from his post and re-appointed to Bolu Public Prosecutor's Office, where he was also suspended from duty.
Öz denied the charges that he insulted and threatened Erdoğan in an eight-page statement to the court.
He said: "There were no insults or threats with a specific target in my tweets. When considered from a broad perspective, it can be seen that the tweets that I shared had the quality of contributions to the debates on the problems of social and political matters that concern the whole world." Öz also added in his statement that he even had warnings in his Twitter account to refrain from any insults and swearing. "The name of the plaintiff has never been mentioned in my tweets," he said.
"It is sad that [Erdoğan] thought he was the addressee of the word ‘dictatorship' that I used without mentioning and not even implying his name," Öz said in his statement.
Öz's indictment was prepared by Celalettin Şimşek of the Düzce Public Prosecutor's Office. The indictment claims that Öz, although refraining from mentioning a name, levied insults against a "public officer" on his Twitter account that harmed the reputation and honor of the prime minister. Şimşek demanded Öz be punished for the offense.