PM Erdoğan: Internet bill protesters are defenders of immorality

Date posted: February 10, 2014


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has lambasted demonstrators against a draconian bill aiming to censor Internet content as defenders of immorality, referring to an article in a pro-government daily on Sunday that said the opposition against the bill is administered by a “porn lobby.”

“I am very sorry, please forgive me, but they are taking to the streets and immorally saying, ‘Don’t touch these indecent visuals’ and the parallel structure is backing them,” Erdoğan yelled during a public rally on Sunday celebrating the groundbreaking of a metro line between Mecidiyeköy and Mahmutbey, two districts in İstanbul.

Erdoğan defended the bill, which gives the state greater authority in controlling Internet content, saying the government isn’t introducing restrictions to the Internet, but is actually moving to expand the sphere of freedom. “We are only introducing regulations against publications that violate personal rights,” he said.

He recalled a video tape displaying Deniz Baykal, former chairperson of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), with a woman, saying that he had moved swiftly to prevent dissemination of the visuals without waiting for a court order. Erdoğan, however, used discursive strategies in discussing the content of the video during his election campaigns in 2011, accusing Baykal of immorality and adultery. Erdoğan said the videotape was released by a “parallel state,” a term he uses to describe state officials close to the Hizmet movement, a faith-based voluntary organization spreading religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue in the world. In his resignation speech, however, Baykal denied that Hizmet had anything to do with the videotape.

Erdoğan said the parallel structure within the state has taken steps against “our entrepreneurs and businessmen,” referring to a government graft probe that became public on Dec. 17 of last year and implicated a number of contractors who had undertaken colossal government construction projects, as well as the sons of three ministers. Media outlets ran stories based on leaked voice recordings and the documents of a second probe, which has been stalled since Dec. 25, 2014, when the government started removing or reassigning thousands of police officers and police chiefs as well as the prosecutors carrying out the investigation. The press has since reported that the depths of corruption within the government is actually a lot bigger than initially assumed.

He accused this parallel structure of being in an alliance with opposition parties, the powerful Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (TÜSİAD) and the critical media in a plot against his government. Erdoğan claims that this coalition is an extension of the same organization that toppled the government in 1960 and executed former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes by hanging. He said those who are critical of his government, including the opposition, which is desperate to coming to power through the ballot boxes, are exactly the same people who instigated the Gezi protests last summer to weaken his government.

“We have been productive and they are slinging stones at us. They are only cursing us. We are trying to make Turkey more powerful and they are trying to pull it down,” Erdoğan quipped. Erdoğan further claimed that the Dec. 17 investigations also targeted the economy, saying that the perpetrators of (as he calls it) a coup against his power aim to sink the public bank Halkbank and the National Intelligence Agency (MİT).

Erdoğan refutes Zarrab claims

As part of the Dec. 17 investigation, prosecutors claim that Reza Zarrab, an Iranian businessmen, allegedly used Halkbank as a transfer point for gold to Iran in return for oil, as a way to circumvent international sanctions. Zarrab, currently under arrest, has also been accused of bribing government officials to get his scheme operating.

Erdoğan refuted these claims in his speech during the metro groundbreaking ceremony and provided those present with a definition of the word bribe. He said a bribe can only occur between a civil servant and a civilian person and, without elaborating on the definition any further, added that his government has been an opponent of corruption since his party came to power 11 years ago. He proved his claim by mentioning the economic achievements of the government.

Erdoğan, who had labeled TÜSİAD as traitor a couple of weeks ago when it warned the government that foreign investors are wary of political tensions, continued criticizing the business organization. He said TÜSİAD should mind it own business and hinted that they may face rigorous audits otherwise.

Source: Todays Zaman , February 10, 2014

Related News

White House denies remarks about Gülen attributed to Obama

In an unusual statement, the White House has accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of misrepresenting the content of his phone conversation with US President Barack Obama on Feb. 19 regarding the extradition of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania.

Turkish Olympiad students visit top level gov’t officials in Ankara

İPEK ÜZÜM, ANKARA Students coming from all round the world to participate in the 11th International Turkish Olympiad, a festival that celebrates the Turkish language and which this year brought together 2,000 students from 140 countries, visited the Ankara Governor and the ministers of energy and EU affairs in Ankara on Tuesday. A group of […]

Suspicious Deaths And Suicides On The Rise In Turkey With 54 People In Last 8 Months

Against the background of massive crackdown on critics and opponents in Turkey and widespread torture practices in detentions and prisons, 54 people were reported to have lost their lives, most under suspicious circumstances and under lock-up in the last eight months.

Turkish Teacher Died Under Custody in the Aftermath of the Coup Attempt

Turkish teacher who was denied medical aid after harsh treatment, dies under custody. Gokhan Acikkolu was a teacher of history. As many people, he was detained on charge of being Gulen Fallower on July 23,2016. He died under police custody. He died without even knowing what he was accused of.

Financial Times: Turkey’s crackdown on dissent has gone too far

More troubling is evidence emerging that his government is now using the attempted coup as a pretext to round up all manner of troublesome opponents, not just the Gulenists. It is also damaging the fabric of Turkish society and undermining its institutions, including the security forces. That is a dangerous move in a country whose immune system is already weakened by jihadism and which is battling armed opponents on several fronts.

Council of Europe concerned over government’s ‘hasty’ judicial bill

“This was approved in a referendum. To revisit this in a very hasty manner after that long process of consultation and democratization that took place at that referendum raises a lot of questions on why this is being done so quickly and what the aim of it is,” Muiznieks said.

Latest News

Fethullah Gülen’s Condolence Message for South African Human Rights Defender Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Hizmet Movement Declares Core Values with Unified Voice

Ankara systematically tortures supporters of Gülen movement, Kurds, Turkey Tribunal rapporteurs say

Erdogan possessed by Pharaoh, Herod, Hitler spirits?

Devious Use of International Organizations to Persecute Dissidents Abroad: The Erdogan Case

A “Controlled Coup”: Erdogan’s Contribution to the Autocrats’ Playbook

Why is Turkey’s Erdogan persecuting the Gulen movement?

Purge-victim man sent back to prison over Gulen links despite stage 4 cancer diagnosis

University refuses admission to woman jailed over Gülen links

In Case You Missed It

Preventing Disease: Turkish charity donates 22 wells to Pakistan

On Hizmet: Why do I not criticize it?

Ethiopian President receives Ethio-Turkish schools delegation

Liberia: VP Boakai Breaks Ground for New Light-International Campus

Hizmet Essay Contest 2015

Turkey Carries Out Major NATO Purge

Turkish language and culture festivals held in three countries

Copyright 2022 Hizmet News