ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish Prime Minister Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZ
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the main opposition Tuesday for exploiting WikiLeaks documents against his party, calling on it to change its name to “WikiCHP.”
“The Republican People’s Party [CHP] had claimed that I am the world’s eighth richest man based on claims in WikiLeaks. They asked me to bring a document from Switzerland [proving that I have no bank account there]. The claims belong to U.S. diplomats.” Erdoğan said, speaking at the Justice and Development Party, or AKP’s, parliamentary group meeting Tuesday.
“If the CHP undergoes a change, then it should change its name into WikiCHP,” he said, adding that after advocating for Ergenekon, the CHP was now defending WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website that released a number of secret U.S. embassy cables last week about countries around the world, including Turkey.
“The claimant has to prove his claims. The CHP should tour the 300 banks in Switzerland. If they find anything, I will donate the funds to the CHP,” he said.
Erdoğan said the CHP leader’s intense focus on the WikiLeaks claims had caused uneasiness even within the party grassroots.
“As the CHP is unable to produce policies, it is now hoping to benefit from the correspondence of U.S. diplomats,” he said.
Erdoğan also reiterated Turkey’s position on normalizing relations with Israel following Turkish and Israeli officials’ secret talks in Geneva.
“We are protecting the sensitivity of our nine martyrs,” he said in reference to the Israeli commandoes’ raid against the Turkish-led aid flotilla to Gaza in May.
If Israel wants to open a new era in relations, it must admit to its crime and pay compensation, Erdoğan said, also calling for the lifting of the embargo on Gaza