ANKARA - The Denizfeneri Foundation in Turkey has filed a suit for compensation against the main opposition party leader, Deniz Baykal, for conducting a smear campaign to denigrate the foundation.

"The foundation, which appeals to around 2.5 million people, not only in Turkey but around 50 countries, has been the subject of a fierce lynching campaign for the last six months," the foundation’s president, Engin Yılmaz, told journalists yesterday.

"As if the Republican People’s Party leader Baykal doesn’t have any political rivals, he attacks our foundation to boost his election campaign. He denounces the foundation with the claims of counterfeiting and cooking the books."

No case against foundation

Yılmaz said although there were no corruption cases filed against the foundation, he said Baykal made false and misleading statements in an effort to fray the foundation in Turkey. He said the Lighthouse e.V. in Germany for counterfeiting by using their name, Yılmaz said the foundation in Germany was a different institution founded under German laws.

"We have carried out some joint projects with Lighthouse e.V. in Germany for the last 10 years and we did this cooperation with the permission of the Interior Ministry and with the support of some banks," he said.

"But, upon some claims by the German media, I voluntarily went to Germany in 2007 to inform the German officials that the Lighthouse e.V. in Germany wasn’t a branch of the foundation in Turkey," he said.