March 6, 2015

CHP’s Oran debunks alleged plot to kill Erdoğan’s daughter via Twitter documents

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) İstanbul deputy Umut Oran, who was accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the pro-government media of plotting on Twitter to assassinate Erdoğan's daughter Sümeyye, has refuted the claims via official documents provided by Twitter.

Pro-government media outlets had claimed that Oran had exchanged correspondence with Twitter whistleblower Fuat Avni over the alleged assassination plot but Oran disproved all the false accusations after asking Twitter to send documentation of all his Twitter correspondences.

Oran on Friday shared with members of the media the official documents provided by Twitter, saying: "Here are all of my correspondences in the last four years. There is not even one single message that I sent to or received from this virtual person [Fuat Avni] as the 73-page document sent by Twitter has proved. Also, it is impossible for there to be direct messaging between us because I do not follow Fuat Avni nor does he follow me."

Stressing that those who planned the plot are not ordinary journalists but those who intend to harm democracy, Oran said: "Those owners of newspapers and politicians who were part of the smear campaign against me are in fact enemies of the democratic order. Today, I truly understand Dreyfus. My name is not Zola but I am accusing those who engaged in this dirty plot."

He further lashed out at the media outlets and their managers who are part of such defamation, saying: "You are not human, you are not journalists, you are not businesspeople. You are a gang and a crime organization, you are plotters, you are the enemy of the people."

News stories by the pro-government media in February that are apparently based on fabricated Twitter conversations aim to smear both the CHP by targeting Oran and Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the social Gülen movement, also known as the Hizmet movement.

Three dailies -- Akşam, Star and Güneş -- owned by Ethem Sancak, a businessman with very close ties to Erdoğan, ran stories on their front pages on Friday alleging that a plan to assassinate Sümeyye Erdoğan before the elections was discovered through the exposure of private messages between whistleblower Twitter account Fuat Avni -- which these dailies claim is held by US-based journalist Emre Uslu -- and Oran. Uslu denies owning the Fuat Avni Twitter account.

Fuat Avni has accurately predicted numerous government operations targeting police as well as independent media institutions launched as part of the government's war against the Gülen movement.

After the claims of the plot were published by pro-government media outlets in February, Oran also issued a written statement in which he chastised the news outlets responsible for the “sickening news reports,” which he says began on Feb. 17 and continued with planned and increased viciousness.

“I have not engaged and will not engage in any disgusting, base relationship which will result in the loss of life of any one our citizens. This event [the assassination of Sümeyye Erdoğan] is a completely incomprehensible figment of the imagination,” said Oran.

There may be several motivations behind systematically targeting both the CHP and Gülen by portraying them as conspiring together in a plot against Erdoğan and the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) despite both the CHP and Gülen categorically denying all these claims and filing criminal and civil lawsuits against the perpetrators who concocted these scenarios and publishers who had run these stories.

As Erdoğan and his allies in the government feel the pressure of the upcoming general elections in June, fabricated news stories about the main opposition party and Gülen by pro-government outlets, including claims of assassination plots, money exchanges, sex tapes and infidelity, have systematically been circulated to gain political points.

Oran's lawyer has submitted a petition to the Ankara Prosecutor's Office, demanding the prosecution of Sancak, Akşam Managing Editor Onur Demirhisar, Güneş Editor-in-Chief Turgay Güler, Güneş Managing Editor Zafer Polat, Star Media publishing executive Murat Sancak, Star Editor-in-Chief Nuh Albayrak, Star daily executive Yücel Koç and Star Managing Editor Filiz Güler.

Published on Today's Zaman, 06 March 2015, Friday