CHP leader confesses to money transfer to Kanaltürk

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal confessed last year that his party had made a money transfer to the nationalist Kanaltürk station, according to a report in the Bugün daily yesterday.

CHP leader confesses to money transfer to Kanaltürk
Bugün claimed Baykal stated in a program on CNN Türk in April 2007 that his party transferred money to Tuncay Özkan's Kanaltürk. "There is nothing that disturbs us about this money transfer. We signed a deal with Kanaltürk for the CHP's promotion and publicity activities. The money transfer is not in violation of our legal system. We will sign similar deals with Kanal D and ATV in the coming months," Baykal is alleged to have said.

The CHP leader also noted that the Ministry of Finance filed an appeal with the Chief Prosecutor's Office regarding the money transfer and that the office said there was nothing about the transfer requiring scrutiny. Upon a question over the amount transferred to Kanaltürk, Baykal reportedly said, "We decided on the amount with party members."

Constitutional Court President Haşim Kılıç, on the other hand, said a financial examination of the CHP's accounts cannot be considered preparation for the closure of this party. Responding to journalists' questions following a reception held in Parliament on Wednesday on the occasion of Children's Day, Kılıç noted that it would be difficult to correlate a financial inspection on the CHP with a closure case against this party.

"There are three reasons that can lead to the closure of a political party. With financial matters, a party can only be disbanded if it receives financial support from foreign countries," he said.

There are claims the CHP may face a closure case for money transfers made to Kanaltürk totaling YTL 4 million. Under Article 72 of the Political Parties Law, a political party cannot give money to real persons or legal entities.

"Regular financial inspections will be conducted on the CHP's accounts. Similar inspections will be conducted for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Such inspections are not something out of the ordinary," Kılıç noted. He also said once the report on the financial inspection of the CHP's accounts is ready the top court will discuss it. Asked whether this inspection could be considered preparation for the CHP's closure, Kılıç said, "Those who deem it such either know nothing about law or have other motives."

Meanwhile, members of the disbanded Welfare Party (RP) called on prosecutors to take the necessary legal action against the CHP over the money transfer allegations. "I was sentenced to four months in prison though I was innocent and my party ended up being closed. But the Constitutional Court has done nothing to the CHP over the money transfer it made to Kanaltürk. Do courts in Turkey apply different rules to different political parties?" asked Şenol Gürşan, who was elected the RP's provincial chairman in Kırklareli province.

In a similar case of unaccounted-for political party funds in 1997, a criminal complaint was immediately filed against the RP with the top court. When YTL 2.6 million of the party's funds allocated from the Treasury ended up in private bank accounts, RP leader Necmettin Erbakan was barred from engaging in politics and sentenced to time in prison along with several other party officials.

Today's Zaman
Last Mod: 25 Nisan 2008, 11:36
Add Comment