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Turkish man sues wife for insulting President Erdogan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech  in Santiago, Chile, February 1, 2016. (REUTERS/Carlos Vera)

According to Turkish media, a man filed a legal complaint against his wife on the grounds that she repeatedly insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the confines of their home.

According to news reports, the man, identified by the Yeni Safak newspaper as Ali D., had warned his wife of three years, G.D., not to curse Erdogan -- a popular albeit polarizing political figure -- when he appeared on television. She supposedly defied him, and dared him to lodge a legal case against her.

He duly obliged.

"I kept on warning her, saying why are you doing this? Our president is a good person and did good things for Turkey," the husband is quoted as saying.

"Even if it is my father who swears against or insults the president, I would not forgive and I would complain," he said.

The bizarre nature of this case belies the darker context of the moment. Erdogan is criticized by his opponents for presiding over an increasingly authoritarian state, emphasized most garishly in a spate of complaints lodged against civilians for supposedly insulting the country's powerful leader.

This included even one incident where a doctor faced charges after uploading an image to Facebook that likened Erdogan to the creature Gollum, from the fantasy "Lord of the Rings" series.

As for this couple in the news, the wife has now filed for divorce.

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