Erdogan threatens journalists for revealing scandals

Erdogan threatens journalists for revealing scandals

Ankara, June 2, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

The main opposition accuses him of having golden toilets in his palace

By Manolis Kostidis

The Ak Saray palace, constructed by Recep Tayyip Erdogan last August, continues to cause conflicts between the Turkish president and the opposition which accuses him of excessive spending.

In an interview with Turkish state television TRT, Erdogan said he would resign if the leader of the Republican People’s Piece Kemal Kilicdaroglu found a single gold toilet seat in the hundred rooms of the palace.

Kilicdaroglu, in his election speech in Izmir had stated, “palaces were built for you, airplanes and Mercedes cars were bought… gold seats that you use in the toilet”,

“I invite him to come and search… I wonder if he will be able to find such a gold toilet seat in one of the toilets.. and if he does find one, I will resign from the presidency”, replied the Turkish president.

Last August, Erdogan moved in the new palace he built for himself, which features 1000 rooms and cost USD 500 million.

In the same interview however, Erdogan threatened the newspaper Cumhuriyet, for publishing photos with trucks of the Turkish secret service (MIT) carrying weapons to the jihadists in Syria.

“The person who posted this news as exclusive will pay dearly, will not let it pass”, said the Turkish President.

The case was revealed in 2014 when prosecutors had stopped the trucks. The Turkish government at the time had argued that they belonged to the MIT, but were carrying humanitarian aid to the Turkmen in Syria. The prosecutors who had ordered the investigation of the lorries were released from their duties and are accused of being members of the “parallel state”, which is allegedly run by former ally and current foe of Erdogan, imam Fethullah Gulen.

Cumhuriyet, in a front page publication, brought the issue back on Friday and revealed photos of gendarmes and police officers opening boxes, which according to the newspaper, contained weapons and ammunition that were loaded on the three trucks.

“These allegations against the national intelligence agency and this illegal operation is espionage. This pamphlet is now involved in this spying”, said the Turkish president.

Already, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Can Dundar, a prominent journalist, has been called by the prosecutor to testify on charges of espionage.

Dundar, however, replied to the Turkish President with a tweet, saying that “the person who committed this crime will pay a heavy price. We will not let go of him”.