The north’s ‘transport minister’ Erhan Arikli announced on Friday he will sue the north’s animal producers’ and breeders’ union chairman Mustafa Naimogullari over what he described as “slander” during the ongoing farmers’ protest.

Farmers have been protesting outside ‘government’ buildings in the north since Monday over the ‘government’s’ decision to import meat from the Netherlands in an effort to drive down prices for consumers.

Arikli had been swift to condemn the protest on Monday, insinuating hypocrisy on the part of the farmers. As a result, the farmers went to his ‘ministry’s’ building on Tuesday and smashed its gate, while also leaving the heads of livestock outside it and throwing eggs at it.

However, Arikli’s planned lawsuit is apparently based on statements made by Naimogullari on Thursday, despite the fact that Naimogullari is not on the record as having directed any statements at Arikli on that day.

In a Facebook post on Friday morning, Arikli said Naimogullari had “made mindless, vile claims and slandered me yesterday.”

“To prove these vile claims and slander, I will report this person named Naimoglu to the police first thing this morning,” he said, notably getting Naimogullari’s name wrong.

“Then, I am going to file a lawsuit seeking hefty damages about it,” he said, adding that he will “distribute every cent of compensation I receive from this person to the poor citizens who are waiting for cheap meat.”

It is not impossible Arikli was referring to statements made by Naimogullari on Tuesday, in which he called Arikli a “thief” and called on him to resign.

Another possible theory is that he was referring to a “funeral” held for the ‘government’ on Thursday, during which a coffin bearing the names of various ‘ministers’ including Arikli was burned in front of the ‘transport ministry’ building.

As the protest enters its fifth day, the impasse remains, with the north’s ‘government’ insisting it will not “step back” from its plans to import meat, and the farmers insisting they will not end their protest until the plan.

‘Prime minister’ Unal Ustel called a press conference on Thursday night to say his ‘government’ plans to protect consumers while also supporting producers, and that such a thing is possible.

“The path taken by this government under this leadership is structured to achieve this result. This policy will continue to be implemented effectively. We will not shy away from any dialogue to explain this and make the necessary arrangements,” he said.

He added that the ‘government’ will not allow local meat to be sold for more than 550TL (€15.74) per kilogram, while the Dutch imported meat will be sold for a maximum of 400TL (€12.60) per kilogram.

His ‘agriculture minister’ Huseyin Cavus said the ‘government’ has already given farmers over 1 billion TL (€28.6 million) in subsidies since the last election in January 2022.