ANKARA – 26-2-2014 – Hurriyet – It would be very easy to verify the authenticity of tapes leaked onto the Internet Feb. 24, allegedly featuring a phone conversation between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his son, by referring them to Turkey’s scientific authorities, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said Feb. 25.
“The Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey [TÜBİTAK] is right next to Parliament. The prime minister and his son could give their voice samples and in 20 minutes it can be verified whether those voices belong to them or not,” Demirtaş said during an address to his party’s parliamentary group.
“If you don’t trust TÜBİTAK, there are independent forensic laboratories in the United States or Britain. Are you up to it?” he added. The alleged voice recordings sent shockwaves through politics as they directly incriminated both the prime minister and his son in a massive corruption scandal.
Erdoğan, however, claimed the recordings were fabricated and strongly denied the claims of corruption. The government has been accusing the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen of orchestrating the probes, and also holds the Gülen movement responsible for a number of tapes that have recently leaked onto the Internet. BDP co-head Demirtaş challenged the government to take steps to “reassure the public.” “If you feel so confident about yourself, request the launch of an investigation [into the claims]. Reassure the public, as well as yourself. If you feel so confident, this should not be difficult,” he said.
Referring to the content of the tapes, Demirtaş said that if they were to be authenticated, they would clearly show that Erdoğan and his son had been “caught red-handed.” “[Erdoğan’s] first reflex was to call his son and tell him to hide the money. If a prime minister of a democratic country’s says, ‘Hide the money,’ after hearing about the largest corruption in the country’s history, is this a prime minister’s reflex or the reflex of a thief caught in flagrante delicto?” Demirtaş asked. “Moving the money took one whole day. Go get your voice tested. The amount claimed to be still in the house in the early afternoon is 30 million euros. We don’t even know how much was [hidden],” he added.