Preventing the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) posters from being hung up in Ankara’s streets is not a crime but an “honor,” Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Melih Gökçek has said after the release of an audio recording on the matter.
“What have I done? What’s my crime? I have prevented the CHP’s posters from being hung up. Look at that crime. You will decide whether this is a crime or an honor,” Gökçek said on Feb. 26 during an opening ceremony inAnkara after being asked over phone call recordings in which it was alleged Gökçek had blocked the CHP’s posters.
“I have prevented the CHP’s posters, and the CHP has filed complaint against me. It is an honor for me if the CHP sues me,” Gökçek said during the opening of an election coordination center for his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Mamak.
CHP deputy leader Umut Oran said they would file a complaint against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his adviser Mustafa Varank and Gökçek over the blocking of their party’s poster which read, “The government will give an account if the citizens are giving taxes.”
“According to the voice recordings in the media and the Internet, Gökçek calls Varank and tells him that our party will release posters in Istanbul, Ankara and İzmir and asked him whether the prime minister has any instructions about preventing them. If Erdoğan is looking for a criminal organization, then he should look around him. The High Elections Board should step in too,” said Oran.
According to the recordings of a phone call between Gökçek and Varank, the pair decided to block the CHP’s election posters from being hung up in Ankara, Istanbul and İzmir, reportedly after consulting the prime minister.
Gökçek, however, did not deny the recordings and said it was an honor to obstruct the CHP’s posters.
“Yesterday [Feb. 25] I have defended Mr. Prime Minister. And then I have seen that two recordings about me were released that night. They are cowards if they do not release more than these. In the second recordings, Melih has said that ‘some natural gas [companies] are bothering people, and I do not approve of that.’ I hope the rest of the [of the recordings] will be like this,” said Gökçek in defense of the recordings featuring his voice.
Hurriyet Daily News, February/27/2014