The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has been rattled once again as a conversation overheard via a mobile phone has allegedly revealed that a CHP deputy was playing at a gaming table while having an interesting conversation in which party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu was mentioned.
After journalist Hadi Özışık called CHP deputy Bayram Meral on Tuesday for a live conversation on Özışık’s radio program, Meral forgot to turn off his telephone and conversations taking place nearby were overheard.
Media reports say one conversation started with: “Who is playing? Whose turn is it?” The rest of the conversation revealed that Meral was at a gaming table. He allegedly said at one point that “poor Kılıçdaroğlu sweats under the 40 degree heat while you’re sweating here to get money.” He was also quoted as saying “Is this fair?” at which people at the table laughed loudly.
The incident was first reported on internethaber.com, which is owned by Özışık. On Best FM radio, Özışık said on Wednesday that he experienced “an interesting event, just like the incident with Önder Sav.”
Özışık was referring to an incident involving CHP’s Secretary-General Sav in 2008. The Vakit daily had published part of a conversation between Sav and Bolu Governor Mehmet Ali Serindağ and thus started the controversy. The daily explained that one of its reporters had called the CHP secretary-general to ask for comments on controversial remarks he had made in the past about Islam and the Prophet Mohammed. Sav was speaking with Serindağ when he received the call and said: “Just a moment. I have a guest.” He set his cell phone down but forgot to turn it off. He then continued his conversation with the governor. Vakit said its reporter was able to record the conversation for 42 minutes before the cell phone battery ran out or the phone was switched off by Sav.
The content of the conversation was troubling as it catered to suspicions and claims that the CHP has ties to the bureaucracy, the judiciary and the military. Sav was asking the governor what he could do to increase support for the CHP in Bolu.
Media reports point out that as Kılıçdaroğlu works hard at rallies to gather support for a “no” vote in the Sept. 12 referendum for the constitutional amendment package, CHP deputies are spending their time entertaining themselves.
Following the a video posted on a website in May which allegedly shows former CHP leader Deniz Baykal having an affair with a CHP deputy, another video allegedly showing CHP deputy Akif Hamzaçebi with a women has also shaken the party.
Hamzaçebi, known to be close to Kılıçdaroğlu, who came to leadership after Baykal was pressured to resign, seems to be in close contact with a women known only as S.K. The recording was posted on the yourfilelink.com website.
Some expressions heard on the recording give the impression that its release could be intended to serve as revenge against Kılıçdaroğlu, whose leadership has been seen by some in the CHP as a plot to remove Baykal from his position.
Hamzaçebi was expected to talk about the video but he kept his silence and cancelled a press conference on Wednesday at the last minute. Sources said that the deputy has started legal proceedings concerning the issue and will keep silent for now.
Reporters asked Kılıçdaroğlu about the issue involving Hamzaçebi yesterday and Kılıçdaroğlu said, “Private life should not have anything to do with politics.”
When reporters reminded him of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s words that the video of Baykal was a plot designed by somebody who stood to gain the most from it, Kılıçdaroğlu, who replaced Baykal upon his resignation after the scandal, said that the Erdoğan doesn’t know what he is talking about.
“I never betrayed anybody. The prime minister should speak up about what he means. If he means Baykal, I never betrayed Baykal. Is it the prime minister’s duty to interfere in the CHP’s affairs? He should answer to my calls about Erbakan and the Dubai agreement,” he said in reference to a corruption allegation and the relationship between Erdoğan and National View leader Necmettin Erbakan. Meanwhile, another CHP deputy from İstanbul, Çetin Soysal, attracted media attention after being seen with a woman in the holiday town of Bodrum.