Ruling AKP-opposition row over leaked tape

Ruling AKP-opposition row over leaked tape

Ruling AKP-opposition row over leaked tape


Opposition and ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) figures have exchanged barbs over a leaked audio recording of a conversation between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and government officials about whether Turkey should conduct a military incursion into Syria.

Speaking in a televised interview on March 28, Davutoğlu criticized Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu over his claim last week that the Turkish government could seek a war in Syria. Kılıçdaroğlu had called on the chief of general staff to “abstain from an adventure” in Syria.

Davutoğlu said Kılıçdaroğlu should “clarify” his statements, as they could indicate a possibility that the CHP leader was previously “informed by somebody” about the leaked conversation.

 The foreign minister also criticized former ambassador, CHP deputy Osman Korutürk, for his remarks about Foreign Minister Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç also slammed Kılıçdaroğlu for his criticisms of the block on YouTube, accusing the CHP leader of not criticizing the leak but rather spreading it through YouTube. “This is a matter of state,” Arınç said.

However, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said both the content of conversation and its leak was “fateful.”

“The top brass’s plans for Syria are fatal, and the leaking of these conversations due to a security weakness is an open failure,” MHP deputy Şefket Çetin said on March 28.

The AKP is afraid of the local election results and therefore wants to cover up corruption allegations by creating an “atmosphere of war,” Çetin said, adding that the government’s banning of YouTube after blocking Twitter had nothing to do with protecting state secrets.

The Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) also issued a written statement on March 28 saying the leak revealed “illegitimacy.” “It’s unacceptable that the ruling party, using all the powers of the state, proposes a plan that would carry the country into a war with illegitimate methods,” the statement said.

It added that the AKP would risk war to protect its rule, as it currently faces problems in domestic politics.

The audio, which was posted on YouTube on March 27, reveals a top secret conversation between Davutoğlu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler.