Deputy PM Arınç optimistic on presidential auditing of wiretapping
'The reports drafted by the DDK have created an important agenda in Turkey. I believe positive and useful results will be yielded,' Deputy PM Bülent Arınç said. AA photoAn order from President Abdullah Gül to review several issues that have been dominating Turkey’s national agenda over the last few months, including corruption, will lead to “useful results,” Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said.
But Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli’s reaction to Gül’s initiative was sarcastic, although he did welcome the move to review the matters.
Gül’s initiative to authorize the State Supervisory Council (DDK) to audit five topics – wiretapping, discrimination of career professionals such as judges and prosecutors, urban rent, the fight against corruption and state secrets – was announced on March 4 amid massive political turmoil in the run-up to local elections on March 30. The revelation of a huge graft probe Dec. 17, 2013, is the epicenter of the turmoil and has implicated many high-profile names and relatives of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) members.
In response to questions from reporters on March 5, Arınç first noted that Gül had authorized the DDK on many significant issues.
“The reports drafted by the DDK have created an important agenda in Turkey. I see that he authorized [the board for] three issues,” Arınç said, although the authorization actually covers five items.
“We will learn about the results, the reports, when they are made public. It is an assignment from Mr. President. The related institution is the DDK. I believe positive and useful results will be yielded,” Arınç said.
Earlier this week, Arınç said the release pending trial of the sons of two ex-ministers and businessman Reza Zarrab following serious corruption and graft claims has hurt the public conscience. In an interview with CNNTürk late March 2, Arınç also said he felt “embarrassed” following revelations that the prime suspect in the Dec. 17, 2013, graft probe, Zarrab, had allegedly given a watch worth $700,000 to former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan as a present and that a businessman had paid the tuition fees of the daughter of one of the prime minister’s advisers.
Bahçeli trusts DDK, not presidency
Bahçeli, meanwhile, excoriated the president during a gathering with supporters of his party late on March 4 in İzmir.
“Good morning, Mr. President, good morning. What have you done in these 78 days?” Bahçeli asked, referring to the revelation of the huge graft probe Dec. 17. “Which of these remarks did you tolerate with patience? Now, you are calling the DDK to duty. You did fine, although you have been delayed. Not at the presidency, but Inşallah [God willing], the sacred children of this sacred nation at the State Supervisory Council will keep a firm grip on the matter and go the whole nine yards.”