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

TUSKON chairman to Erdoğan: To make fortune, join business world

In a response to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s call to Hizmet movement to form a political party, the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) chairman Rıza Nur Meral called Erdoğan to quit politics and join the business world to make money.

Netherlands poised to cancel status of Islamic university over rector’s discriminatory remarks

Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker announced that there is a parliamentary debate over the Islamic University of Rotterdam for cancellation of the “university status” of the institution due to Rector Ahmet Akgündüz’s repeatedly hateful and discriminatory remarks against Turkey’s minorities and the Gülen movement.

Islamic scholar Gülen files libel case against PM Erdoğan

Gülen’s lawyer Nurullah Albayrak said on Monday that Erdoğan moved beyond borders of freedom of expression and used excessively harsh insults against the Islamic scholar. Gülen is demanding TL 100,000 in compensation for the allegedly denigrating remarks.

Erdoğan’s plan to contain corruption scandal

Despite the obstacles he has orchestrated for those pursuing the investigations, Erdoğan has never been able to gain enough traction to shift the debate away from corruption since Dec. 17. He must now be running on fumes.

Post-coup purge will affect Turkey’s education sector for decades

With more than 120,000 public workers suspended and nearly 40,000 people in prison, the aftermath of Turkey’s failed July 15 coup is being felt across every part of society, including its highest-ranked schools. The day after the coup attempt, 1,577 deans — working at nearly every university in the country — were forced to resign. An estimated 200,000 students were left in limbo after the closure of 15 universities and 1,043 private schools.

Turkish journalist tells Staten Island group about censorship in his country

Turkish journalist Aydogan Vatandas warned Friday night at the Turkish Cultural Center of Staten Island in Dongan Hills that freedom of the press in his country is under siege.

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

President Gül hosts Turkish Olympiad students in Ankara

Gülen calls for respect for the sacred, denounces terrorism

Gulen-linked RI schools remain calm amid coup in Indonesia

A road less traveled

Turkish Cultural Center presents ‘Love is a Verb’

Erdoğan Jails Hundreds of Babies in Paranoid Purge

Gulen: Dervish of our times

Copyright 2023 Hizmet News