Three main opposition deputies top Turkish Parliament’s telecommunication expense list
ANKARAThree deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) appeared at the top of parliament’s telecommunications expenses list, sparking fresh debates after the legislature was struck by the record high bill of CHP Adana deputy Elif Doğan Türkmen.
Türkmen’s telecommunications expenses, which are officially reimbursed due to her position in parliament’s presidential council, were recently revealed to have hit 1.2 million Turkish Liras over the past year.
Two other CHP deputies, Emre Köprülü and Özcan Purçu, also appear high on the yearly telecommunication expenses list of the 550-member parliament, with Köprülü having claimed 370,000 and Purçu having claimed 182,000 liras in unlimited telecommunications expenses.
Türkmen has apologized for her hefty expenses, saying she was unaware that she had spent so much.
“I was only sending messages and occasionally sending letters,” she said, daily Habertürk reported.
“I am very, very sorry. I even turn off the lights in the restrooms in parliament [to save money]. I was really shocked to hear the amount. I wish that they had warned me, nobody has said anything to me until today. If I knew this service was so expensive I wouldn’t have used it,” she added.
Under the law, regular deputies’ yearly telecommunication expenses amounting to up to two months of their salaries are covered by parliament, but for presidency council deputies there is no upper limit.
CHP Deputy Chair Selin Sayek Böke has said Türkmen’s claims were “not unlawful but not ethical either.”
CHP head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has also commented on the situation, similarly describing such high expenses claims as “ethically wrong.”