President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has filed a libel suit against journalist Sedef Kabash, who was arrested last month on charges of "insulting" the Turkish leader, T24 reported.
Erdogan is seeking 250,000 lira (approximately $18,400) in damages from a well-known media figure.
Kabash is behind bars on charges of insulting the Turkish president over a proverb she quoted live on an opposition television program last month: "When a beast enters a palace, it does not become a king, but the palace becomes a barn."
Kabash is awaiting an indictment in the case, T24 quotes her lawyer, but "instead, she was sued for 250,000 lire for defamation."
Last month, Erdogan promised that the crime of journalists for insulting him, which carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison under article 299 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), would not go unpunished.
Article 299 investigations and convictions have skyrocketed since Erdogan took office in 2014. According to a 2021 report based on data from the Department of Justice, the number of lawsuits for insulting the president has increased by 9,000 percent since 2010.