Turkey's deputy prime minister to file complaint amid growing pressure

Turkey's deputy prime minister to file complaint amid growing pressure

ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Turkeys deputy prime minister to file complaint amid growing pressure

Deputy PM Beşir Atalay said CHP leader Kılıçdaroğlu should reveal all the documents he has, or the documents will be revealed during the trial. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ.

Deputy PM Beşir Atalay says he will sue the main opposition leader Kılıçdaroğlu for his accusations of leaking information to suspects in a fraud case

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, who has been accused of leaking information to suspects in a fraud case, has announced plans to sue the main opposition leader over the matter even as the latter’s party called for the minister’s resignation.

“I have not met [Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal] Kılıçdaroğlu, and a meeting is out of question. Kılıçdaroğlu should reveal all the documents he has, or the documents will be revealed during the trial,” Atalay said yesterday in an interview with private broadcaster NTV.

Kılıçdaroğlu accused Atalay on Oct. 11 of being a mole who allegedly sent advance warning of an impending police search to suspects in the Deniz Feneri (Lighthouse) charity scandal case. The CHP leader showed a record of phone calls made from Atalay’s office two days before the raid as a proof of his claims.

Atalay said the calls were normal.

“The Interior Ministry works with local administrations,” said the deputy prime minister, who was interior minister at the time of the event. “It’s normal that a mayor was called from my office. The content of that phone call should be asked to the CHP leader.”

Atalay said he was “relaxed because I have answers to all accusations.”

‘Needs to resign’

The main opposition party, however, made a move yesterday to increase the pressure on Atalay as Gürsel Tekin, deputy leader of the CHP, called for his resignation.

“I wonder how the minister will file a lawsuit; when all documents are real, what will he complain about?” Tekin told reporters during a press conference at the party headquarters in Ankara.

The CHP deputy leader said Atalay should abandon his post. “I hope that there will be no need for a censure motion. Resignation is a tool used in democratic countries and the minister will probably do what is necessary.”

Tekin said the call made from the minister’s office, allegedly by Atalay’s personal security head, ahead of a police raid could not be described as normal.

“Atalay says his personal security head does not even remember making the call. This is not possible. If you check out his testimony at the prosecutor’s office, his memory was still fresh,” Tekin said. “We also believe that the minister himself has knowledge of the situation.”

 Tekin also replied to Atalay’s comments that the documents of an ongoing investigation should not be made public.

“Last week, my telephone conversation with journalist Nedim Şener [who is under arrest in the Ergenekon probe] was all over the media,” the CHP deputy leader said. “Your conscious allows this but you criticize our party leader for revealing documents? If there is any legal strangeness [in this country], the current government is solely responsible for that.”

Ergenekon is an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup initially by spreading chaos and mayhem. It is also thought to be an extension of or a different name for the “deep state,” which is an alleged unofficial organization composed of elements from the bureaucracy and military operating behind the scenes of the official state structure.

Tekin said all documents in a dossier shown by Kılıçdaroğlu on Tuesday would soon be made public.

“We waited for the government to reveal the name, but our leader had to do it when they did not,” Tekin said. “We are very firm on this issue. We can debate with ruling party members, including the minister over the Lighthouse investigation wherever they want to.”

The Lighthouse was launched after a Frankfurt court in 2008 convicted three managers of the Lighthouse e.V. charity in Germany for embezzling 40 million euros. Most of the money is believed to have ended up in Turkey in the coffers of the pro-government Kanal 7 television channel and a business group whose owners are close to the AKP through the auspices of Deniz Feneri