MHP furious over opinion poll manipulation claims

MHP furious over opinion poll manipulation claims

MHP furious over opinion poll manipulation claims

MHP deputy Yusuf Halaçoğlu made his fellow lawmakers at the General Assembly listen to a phone recording during a parliamentary session. AA photo

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has voiced outrage over the allegations that a national television channel manipulated opinion polls with the knowledge of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

MHP Deputy Chairman Yusuf Halaçoğlu said wiretapped files leaked recently showed that the MHP’s votes were transferred to the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) in opinion polls conducted by the Habertürk news station, Cihan news agency reported.

“Phone records are being revealed and they will continue to come out. There is an agreement about taking three points from the MHP’s votes and adding them to the BDP in an opinion poll. The phone talks between the prime minister’s son, Fatih Saraç, and Fatih Altaylı have been revealed. You are controlling the press. I want to state how wrong it is to be involved in such a situation,” said Halaçoğlu, speaking at Parliament on Feb. 7.

Recordings of conversations between Altaylı, Saraç and Bilal Erdoğan, the son of the prime minister, spread on social media late Feb. 6. The recordings appeared to reveal an agreement between the three about altering the results of an opinion poll conducted on March 2013. 

Altaylı admitted to the phone calls in his column published in Habertürk on Feb. 7, but said they had been altered with a montage in the recording. He also wrote that they had “never altered or manipulated opinion polls.”

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said he did not trust the results of opinion polls.

“I don’t trust the opinion polls. The weird thing is that a prime minister is interfering in the media and opinion poll results so directly. The prime minister should not be sitting in that chair,” Kılıçdaroğlu told reporters.