Wiretapping creates a social media super hero in Turkey: Teoman
ISTANBUL“I had offered so many things to Teoman. So many promises ... But no, he didn’t accept any [bribes].”
These are the words allegedly said by Iranian-Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab, who is a key suspect in Turkey’s massive corruption and graft probe, complaining of the honesty and stubbornness of a civil servant to his aide, Rüçhan Bayar.
The transcript of the alleged conversation, dated Jan. 4, 2014, leaked to the Internet yesterday, triggering a social media storm, like many previous wiretapped phone calls.
Haramzadeler333, the main whistleblower Twitter account, claims the phone conversation is included in the summary of proceedings regarding four former ministers that Parliament will meet in an extraordinary session to discuss on March 19.
As “Teoman” is declared a national hero on social media, his identity is also revealed: Teoman Coşkun Dudak, who was a deputy director at Istanbul customs office at the time. It’s also reported Dudak was appointed to Gaziantep after his term in Istanbul last year.
Some social media users speculated his appointment from Istanbul to southeastern Turkey could be seen as a punishment, almost an exile, because of his rejection to cooperate with Zarrab, who was allegedly bribing several Cabinet members.
Soon after the leak, #MemurTeoman became popular hashtag on Twitter, as hundreds of Twitter users praised Dudak.
“Everywhere in this country, there are still several men who are dedicated to the traditions of the state, to justice and to ethics,” main opposition Republican People Party’s (CHP) deputy chair Umut Oran said in a Twitter message.
“Good that we have you, Teoman. Your presence is the hope for the future of this country,” journalist Murat Sabuncu tweeted.
“We are all the soldiers of Teoman the public servant,” another Twitter user, “Barış,” said.
Many others joked, some labeled Dudak as “the Teoman lobby,” referring to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s previous rebukes against various kind of “lobbies” which allegedly try to stir trouble in Turkey.
One user went on to claim Dudak is a super hero greater than the others, including “Sipider Man” (sic):
TEOMAN. Superhero of Turkey. He gives a good lesson to money lovers. He has refused to get bribery. pic.twitter.com/UZtPekUUH6— Ersan Ozmen (@ersan_ozmen) March 14, 2014