CHP leader says Doğan’s letter shows President’s version not correct
İhsan Ekici - VIENNA
DHA photoTurkey’s main opposition party leader has stated that Aydın Doğan, the founder and honorary chairman of Doğan Holding, wrote in an open letter that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave an incorrect account of his past meeting with Doğan, stating that the latter had suggested that media can replace governments.
Furthermore, according to Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, statements by former President Süleyman Demirel have proven Doğan’s account of the events.
“I read the letter. I know that there are great pressures on Mr. Doğan. We all know. We also know the pressures on the Hürriyet newspaper. We know that some columnists have been threatened too. Within this framework, we all need freedom of press, no matter what its worldview is. We will not limit people’s right to access to information in a country where there is no free press,” Kılıçdaroğlu said late on Sept. 27 in Vienna at a gathering with electorate in the run-up to the Nov. 1 snap elections.
“The president of a country should be very careful and meticulous about sentences he uses and views he voices…But the picture that has emerged displays that Erdoğan didn’t tell the truth and that this is proven by a letter from Süleyman Demirel. If there are still things that are being said on this matter, then this is injustice to the Doğan group,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
In Doğan’s letter published in Hürriyet daily over the weekend, Doğan referred to a Sept. 22 interview with Erdoğan broadcast by Kanal 7, in which he quoted Doğan as saying “there were times when we made governments come and go,” during a meeting at an Istanbul hotel years ago.
“[In the program] you noted that I said these words to you, referring to late presidents Turgut Özal and Süleyman Demirel, as well as former Prime Minister Tansu Çiller,” Doğan wrote in the letter. “But in the meeting at the Conrad Hotel, I did not tell you such a thing nor did I utter any remark with a similar meaning.”
The letter quoted former President Demirel, who once wrote that he was never offended by criticism in Doğan media outlets because they were simply “doing their job properly as the press.”