CHP MP rejects ‘fake operation’ claims, slams accusing publication
“Attacking people through their families and defaming them even on a health issue is the way of FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization],” he said from prison through a statement he made via his lawyers on Oct. 19.
“Daily Güneş published a false, degrading news story about my operation on Oct. 11 and ran it as a headline,” Berberoğlu said of the hernia operation he underwent while serving his time in the Maltepe Prison in Istanbul.
İsmail Hakkı Çinel was identified as the doctor who collaborated in faking a health complexity to provide Berberoğlu with a private, VIP room, Daily Güneş’s story said. The paper also said the Health Ministry has opened a probe into the unnecessary operation, which it dubbed a “five-star scandal.”
“My hernia was diagnosed two months ago, and my former prison house decided on the operation,” Berberoğlu’s statement read.
Berberoğlu also said neither him nor his lawyers had been consulted in the writing of the report, which particularly implies the operation was done to keep the lawmaker in the hospital instead of sending him back to prison.
Yet, Berberoğlu said he had in fact insisted on leaving the Pendik Hospital as soon as possible in order to not be a burden on the law enforcement officials who were obliged to monitor him.
Berberoğlu said these allegations smelled of the outlawed FETÖ and that neither he nor his family or lawyers had been informed about the operation date for security reasons.
“That is why there was no way I could have plotted for the two days to intersect,” the lawmaker said, referring to allegations that he had picked Oct. 11 for his surgery date, as it was also the day his lawyer sent a petition to the Constitutional Court demanding his release after a local court ruled for his retrial in an espionage case.
Berberoğlu was sentenced to 25 years in prison on June 14 for allegedly “leaking state secrets” in the National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks case, in which he is accused of providing daily Cumhuriyet with a video purporting to show the intelligence agency allegedly trucking weapons to Syria.
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court had ruled that Berberoğlu, the first CHP lawmaker to be given prison time, had “knowingly helped a terror organization” by providing “state secrets” to the media when gendarmerie forces halted the trucks near the Syrian border on Jan. 19, 2014.