Controversial former AKP MP in anti-Hürriyet protests promoted to deputy minister
Former AKP MP Abdurrahim Boynukalın (L) seen in a youth branch meeting with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu (C) and Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan (R) on Oct. 28, 2015. DHA PhotoThe Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) controversial former Istanbul MP Abdurrahim Boynukalın, who delivered a fiery speech addressing hundreds of protesters who attacked daily Hürriyet on Sept. 6, has been appointed deputy minister of youth and sports.
The Official Gazette announced the appointment of Boynukalın, who has also served as the head of the AKP’s youth branch, on Dec. 18.
The newly-appointed deputy minister created controversy in late October, when video footage was released showing him defending the Sept. 6 attack on Hürriyet during a meeting with AKP youth members in the southern province of Mersin.
A video later emerged of Boynukalın defending the attack at a Oct. 19 meeting he attended alongside Lütfi Elvan, an AKP Antalya deputy and former transportation minister, as well as local AKP politicians.
“These guys [at Hürriyet] thought they could curse this country’s Islamic values and anybody else they wanted to curse. They though no one would be able to touch them. But friends, the AKP youth lifted their immunity three weeks ago,” he said.
Boynukalın was excluded from the AKP’s MP candidate list for the Nov. 1 general elections but was elected to the AKP’s steering committee at the party’s congress on Sept. 12. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has expressed his disapproval of Boynukalın’s actions, while Hürriyet has lodged a legal complaint against him.