Ankara mayor will come out a loser if he goes to court, Turkish deputy PM challenges

Ankara mayor will come out a loser if he goes to court, Turkish deputy PM challenges

Ankara mayor will come out a loser if he goes to court, Turkish deputy PM challenges

AA Photo

Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has admitted that his harsh public accusations against Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek were wrong but that he had to protect his personal rights, even as he warned the mayor that he would lose if he goes to court.

“If he regards my statements as insults, then he can go to court. We will respect the decision of the court. It wouldn’t be the first time we will appear before court. But if this lawsuit is filed and I am asked to answer questions on some issues, then everybody should know that the defendant or the complainant will end up the loser,” Arınç said to reporters late March 24.

An unprecedented war of words between Arınç and Gökçek revealed the latter’s controversial mayoral decisions in Ankara that caused an Ankara prosecutor to launch an investigation into both ruling party officials. Arınç accused Gökçek of selling Ankara plot by plot to the members of the Fethullah Gülen community, deemed the “parallel structure” within the state.

Although he continued to harshly threaten Gökçek, Arınç admitted that what he did was wrong and accepted the urging of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who met with both men in the wake of their quarrel.

“What our prime minister has said is correct. What Gökçek and I did was wrong,” he said. “I have no intention of mentioning his name afterwards and I have no need to discuss all of these issues in front of cameras,” Arınç said.

Arınç said he would never have engaged in such a fight with anybody, but Gökçek made an attack on his personal life and family members. “This is another experience I had. But I could not stop myself and I talked. Because it was regarding my personal life. I had to say a few words about a person who attacked my personal life. I could have done it at another time, in another place.”
Gökçek says he won’t continue argument

In the meantime, the other party to the quarrel, Melih Gökçek, said he had decided not to continue the row with Arınç after the intervention of the prime minister. “I will give you news that will upset you. I am not going to add fuel to the flamess; I will extinguish the fire,” Gökçek told reporters March 25 in response to questions about his next move against Arınç.

Recalling his late March 24 meeting with Davutoğlu, Gökçek said he would not even issue a comment about the issue upon the prime minister’s instruction. “Those who try to deepen the unrest will not be able to talk about it as there will no longer be such an issue. There are those who rush to the prosecutor’s office or who write about it in their columns,” he said, adding that he would respond to them in his future public appearances.