‘Sex tape’ claims stir Turkish politics

‘Sex tape’ claims stir Turkish politics

‘Sex tape’ claims stir Turkish politics

DHA Photo

With only three weeks left to crucial parliamentary elections, the flames of Turkish politics have been fanned once again by claims that a high-level female official of an opposition party was blackmailed with an inappropriate video recording.

Meral Akşener, a veteran politician from the ranks of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), is the victim of the claims made public on May 10 by Latif Erdoğan, a former sympathizer of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen. 

A well-known and respected politician, 59-year-old Akşener served as the interior minister during the mid-1990s. 

Latif Erdoğan’s claim has been widely denounced by public opinion and politicians including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his wife Emine Erdoğan, who phoned Akşener to express their solidarity, according to daily Hürriyet.  

Apart from the president and the first lady, Sare Davutoğlu, the wife of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, and Hayrünnisa Gül, the wife of former President Abdullah Gül, have also called Akşener to express their solidarity.  

Family and Social Policies Minister Ayşenur İslam has also contacted the MHP deputy, and said such unethical moves should not have a place in politics. 

“I am standing with you as a woman politician,” she told Akşener.  

Akşener refuted claims that she had been blackmailed with any video, describing it as an “ignominious aspersion.”

“The reason for this is the rise of the MHP and my criticism of the corruption revealed Dec. 17, [2013]. I am accused of being a member of the [Gülen] community, but I can only laugh,” she said. 

“I am 59 years old and I live with my mother-in-law. I am soon going to be a grandmother. My grandchildren will read about all of these things when they grow up. This is also an operation which aims to dismiss women from politics,” Akşener added.

Akşener has filed a criminal complaint against Latif Erdoğan and the TV station on which he made this accusation on May 15, five days after the issue was first brought to the agenda.