Turkey's science watchdog mocked for ‘montage’ report on graft leaks

Turkey's science watchdog mocked for ‘montage’ report on graft leaks

Turkeys science watchdog mocked for ‘montage’ report on graft leaks

Bahçeli criticized the statements by Technology Minister Işık.

Turkey’s opposition leaders have lined up to slam the state science watchdog TÜBİTAK, which recently concluded that leaked voice recordings, allegedly belonging to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and apparently proving his involvement in a huge graft scandal, “were montaged.”

“Do those at TÜBİTAK who put their signatures under this [report] have any conscious, morality or faith?” main opposition CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu asked on June 10, while delivering a speech at a meeting of his party’s parliamentary group.

Kılıçdaroğlu also questioned those experts’ “loyalty to the principles of Islam.”

“If you appoint a zoo manager to one of the most prestigious institutions of Turkey, then it gives such report. This report does not acquit Erdoğan,” he said, in reference to the appointment of former Ankara Zoo Director Mustafa Sancar to one of the most important units of TÜBİTAK. Last month, Sancar was appointed vice director of ULAKBİM, the Turkish Academic Network and Information Centre, which operates as TÜBİTAK’S R&D Facility Institute.

“These recordings are as authentic as Mount Ağrı,” he added.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli, also addressing his party’s parliamentary group meeting on June 10, slammed TÜBİTAK for the same report, while recalling how Technology Minister Fikri Işık had told reporters only days after the leak that he “felt” that the recordings were “montaged.”

“The last blow was dealt by TÜBİTAK,” Bahçeli said, mocking Işık. “The pro-AKP public servants assigned to TÜBİTAK from irrelevant places have not ruined our nation and country, but only their institution,” Bahçeli said.