French ex-diplomat investigated over Erdogan assassination remark

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives to Turkey's capital on April 17, 2017 in Ankara Turkey. (Photo by Elif Sogut/Getty Images)

The Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara launched an investigation Monday of a former French diplomat, presently a senior fellow at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI), Philippe Moreau Defarges over his controversial remarks on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s assassination, local media reported.

On Saturday, Defarges said, as broadcast by French media, that the outcome of the Turkish constitutional referendum could be followed either by a civil war or Erdogan’s assassination.

The decision to start the probe comes after Erdogan’s lawyer filed a legal complaint against Defarges earlier in the day, regardless of the fact that Defarges expressed Sunday his apology for the remarks, the Anadolu news agency specified.

On April 16, Turkey held a referendum on the transition from a parliamentary to presidential system of governance, the majority of Turkish people, over 51 percent, supported the governance shift, granting Erdogan additional powers.

The referendum’s outcome provoked a series of protests and an extension of the state of emergency in the country for an additional three months.