MHP in bid to save wiretapped phone call recordings
AA PhotoA parliamentary commission has decided to destroy the primary evidence in a corruption probe against four ex-ministers, angering opposition members on the commission.
Mesut Dedeoğlu, a Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) panel member, told the panel and the Parliament Speaker’s Office that the decision was "against the Constitution."
MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli, meanwhile, has described the panel’s nay vote as “one of the most embarrassing decisions” made in Turkish political history, adding that Turkey could “no longer live” with the ruling party’s damaging approach to law and morality.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is a “threat to democracy, national unity, a thousand-year-old fraternity, individual rights and freedoms and the future,” Bahçeli said on Jan. 6, also describing the ruling party as a “source of sin.”
“The houses of journalists who wrote Twitter messages about the Dec. 17-25 operation are being cruelly raided,” he told a parliamentary group meeting of this party, in an apparent reference to the detention of journalist and TV anchor Sedef Kabaş.
Kabaş was released on probation shortly after being detained for her tweet on Turkey’s now-closed graft probe. Kabaş was detained on Dec. 30, 2014, following her tweet, in which she called on citizens to not forget the name of the judge who dropped the Dec. 17, 2013, corruption probe involving high-profile figures and former Cabinet members.
Bahçeli slammed the commission’s decision not to pursue the case. “Bribed former ministers are secure and known children are safe. Yesterday, one of the most embarrassing decisions in Turkish political history was made when four former ministers were not sent to the Supreme Council by the parliamentary investigation commission following a three-and-a-half-hour long meeting,” he said.
“Ministers, about whom there are plenty of claims, have been protected and the national conscience has been seduced,” he added.
The commission was originally set to vote late Dec. 22, 2014, however, the vote was delayed until Jan. 5.
A day before the Dec. 22 session, Davutoğlu vowed that he would show zero tolerance for corruption, saying the authorities would “cut off the arm” of anyone involved in a graft “even if it is our own brother.”
“The hands of the AKP’s nine members were raised for approving bribery and corruption; nine members have committed a murder of law and they have smeared their own names in a way that cannot be cleared,” Bahçeli said.
The four ministers stepped down last year amid suspicions of bribery and illicit money transfers. Despite insisting that the allegations were orchestrated by the Gülen movement, the government, nevertheless, agreed to set up a committee to investigate the accusations.
The committee, which was dominated by members of Turkey’s ruling party, voted 9-5 on Jan. 5 against referring the ex-ministers to the Supreme Council.