ANKARA - Hürriyet
CHP deputy Emine Ülker Tarhan was referring to an alleged phone conversation between the prime minister and an executive from private broadcaster Habertürk, which leaked onto the Internet last week. DHA Photo
The sometimes bizarre news agenda in Turkey may occasionally resemble a science-fiction tale, but a main opposition lawmaker has pushed the comparison further, likening Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
to Lord of the Rings wizard Saruman, who has lost “all sense of shame.”
“[Turkey has become] a country where headlines and program flows can change with one phone call as if it were Middle-Earth in Lord of the Rings. The [person] who does it is like a Saruman the White who has lost all sense of shame,” Republican People’s Party’s [CHP] deputy Emine Ülker Tarhan said in a written statement on Feb. 10.
Tarhan was referring to an alleged phone conversation between the prime minister and an executive from private broadcaster Habertürk, which leaked onto the Internet last week. In the recording, Erdoğan is heard demanding that the executive remove a news ticker referring to a statement by the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader at the height of the Gezi Park demonstrations last June.
“The individual who tries to crush his opponents with instructions to the media is the country’s prime minister, but at the same time he is a police chief, a prosecutor, a judge, a mayor, a media chairman and a businessman,” Tarhan added.
During a recent Justice and Development Party (AKP) gathering in İzmir, the absent Erdoğan did recently give a wizard-like impression by appearing via a holographic avatar, which was beamed into the meeting room.
Tarhan also addressed the government’s anticipated new “democratization package” proposal, which she described as a “panicked attempt” to “erase wrongdoings.”
“You give flashy names to all the sins you have committed. You call what you impose [on citizens] ‘democracy,’ and your fascism ‘advanced democracy’ … Now you introduce a ‘democratization package’ to cover-up for corruption,” she said.