Turkey’s main opposition MP resigns from Turkish parliamentary council after massive phone expense scandal
ANKARAA main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy from the southern province of Adana, Elif Doğan Türkmen, resigned from parliament’s presidential council on Feb. 4 in the wake of a scandal over a 1.2 million-Turkish Lira phone bill claim.
CHP parliamentary group deputy chair Engin Altay said on Feb. 3 that Türkmen had stated she would consider resigning after speaking with CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu two days ago regarding the matter.
“Today the demand from [Kılıçdaroğlu] was readdressed to Mrs. Türkmen. I think she will do the right thing,” Altay said, signaling the resignation of Türkmen.
Türkmen previously 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.
“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.
The CHP deputy had made use of the unlimited telecommunications expense rights granted to all members of parliament’s presidential council. Under the regulations, regular MPs’ yearly telecommunications expenses amounting to up to two months of their salaries are covered by parliament, but for presidency council member deputies there is no upper limit.